A bit of a dramarama
What do the following have in common?
The Bath and Ladle, The Bessemer, The Casting Pit, The Forge, The Hopper, The Hearth and Spoon, The Pig, The Puddle Shop, The Run-Out Table, The Ace of Hearts, The Colossus, The Dramarama, The Futurist, The Prince of Wales, The Jennie Lee, The Sheaf, The Arundel Gate, The New Elizabethan, The New Playhouse, The Stirrings, and The White Elephant.
They were all suggested names submitted by readers of the Morning Telegraph in 1969 to name Sheffield’s new theatre.
The winner was The Adelphi because the theatre stood on the site of the Adelphi Hotel, in which Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday were formed. But it was eventually rejected because there were plenty of other Adelphi Theatres across the UK.
It was the publicity manager at the old Sheffield Playhouse, Hilary Young, who came up with the final suggestion, The Crucible.
When the Crucible Theatre went through a £15 million refurbishment between 2007 and late 2009, a new events room above the main entrance was called the Adelphi Room (see photo).
I found out about the ‘voms.’
The Crucible Theatre has two of them, and they lead onto its main stage.
Actors walk up and down them, sometimes they run, some have tripped up and down. A chariot, a car, and goodness know what else, have been driven up them. Snooker players rest in front of them, and when they do, they are seen by millions of people around the world.
They are referred to by actors as the ‘voms,’ the two ‘sally ports’ set into the raked seating at the Crucible Theatre.
On a thrust stage these are called vomitories, and comes from the word ‘vomitory’ or ‘vomitorium’ which meant a passageway in an ancient Roman amphitheatre that connected an outside entrance to a tier of seats.
Alas, vomitory also means a substance that induces vomiting.
Hanover by night
“I believe we now have to break with the past and consign high-rise tower blocks to history. They have served their purpose, but never truly fulfilled their promise, and we have learned valuable and tragic lessons from their brutal, brooding presence in our housing stock.” – Emma Adams.
Hanover House is a single 16-storey block of flats on Exeter Drive, off Hanover Way, built by M J Gleeson on behalf of the Sheffield City Council in 1965-1966. The cladding applied much later to Hanover House was the only tower block cladding in Sheffield which failed fire safety tests and had to be replaced.
The coolest bus in Sheffield
A Heaven 17 design with layout by Malcolm Garrett is adorning this First bus in Sheffield. It pays tribute to the band’s two ground-breaking albums – Penthouse and Pavement and The Luxury Gap.
Heaven 17 are a new wave and synth-pop band that formed in Sheffield in 1980. The band were a trio for most of their career, composed of Martyn Ware (keyboards) and Ian Craig Marsh (keyboards) (both previously of the Human League), and Glenn Gregory (vocals, keyboards).
And talking about Heaven 17
I’ve started reading a book and begun listening to one of the best podcasts out there. Electronically Yours is the name for both, and are the brainchild of Martyn Ware, keyboardist with Heaven 17, composer, arranger, record producer, and music programmer.
The book was written in lockdown and provides charming meditations on culture, humour, travel and sport, Martyn also shares his love of 60s films, explains why Venice is the most beautiful city in the world, and reveals how Sheffield Wednesday has forever been his first and eternal passion.
“And why the title Electronically Yours? I designed the artwork for the front cover of our first Human League single ‘Being Boiled’ and, at that time, I liked the idea of using a strapline or slogan that would humanise the product.”
I’ve listened to several of the 115 episodes that make up the Electronically Yours podcasts, but immediate standouts are lengthy chats with Richard Hawley (in two parts), Mark Radcliffe, Nile Rodgers, and Glen Gregory.
There are no inhibitions, there is a lot of swearing, fascinating stories, and you might easily be in a room with them. And there are loads of stories about Sheffield that will appeal to those of a certain age.
Listening to them makes me realise what is lacking on radio today. Personality. Get a few of these under your belt and you really do think that Martyn is an old friend.
©2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.