Copyright Bad Blood Blues

Theatre Deli presents Bad Blood Blues

For three nights only, dark yet intriguing play Bad Blood Blues will be showcased at the Theatre Deli in Sheffield.

Bad Blood Blues explores the controversial HIV/AIDS drug trials which used African people as guinea pigs to pioneer new medicine. Accompanied by a live blues musician, the powerful drama watches two characters as they negotiate a moral and sexual maze.

Why is HIV/AIDS treatment too expensive for countries where the virus is most rife? Are Africans being exploited as guinea pigs to test new drugs for multi-national pharmaceutical companies?  Is it okay to sacrifice lives to protect the integrity of medical studies?

Directed by Ugandan born Sheffield bred theatre maker, John Rwoth-Omack, Paul Sirett’s explosive 2009 play comes to Sheffield to expose the unanswered questions of the pharmaceutical industry’s murky past.

The performance will be showing at the Theatre Deli from 1 to 3 March. Click here to book your tickets.


Copyright The Leadmill

The Leadmill presents Haçienda Classical at Don Valley Bowl

The Leadmill brings Hacienda Classical with Manchester Camerata, the city’s experimental orchestra, to Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl on Friday 17th August. 

Now coming into its third year, these nostalgic nights have recreated the tunes that defined a generation at the original Manchester club, renewed and rearranged with a classical orchestra.

The show will feature its third new set which is currently being prepared by former DJ’s Graeme Park and Mike Pickering alongside executive producer Peter Hook and musical director Tim Crooks. This version will once again see many new classic tracks added to the repertoire for the Hacienda Classical players and special guests.

Samuel Feeley, Promoter at The Leadmill said, “Hacienda Classical has been all over the country and has always gone down a storm so we’re really excited to be able to bring them to Sheffield this summer!”

The announcement of this show is met with excitement: Rebecca Walker, Senior Live Promoter & Assistant General Manager at The Leadmill said, “The Leadmill is such a loved institution to many in the Steel City and I’m immensely proud of both the brand and our hardworking staff to be able to take The Leadmill to the next step with such an ambitious show”.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 16 February and can be bought at

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Sheffield celebrates Japanese culture with Japan Now North festival

From 21 February to 3 March, the art, culture, literature, film and photography of Japan is brought to Sheffield and showcased at various events across the city. 

Japan Now North welcomes an impressive range of academics and creatives to the city so that Sheffield locals can enjoy an essence of Japan without having to travel thousands of miles to get there. The festival programme has been produced by the University of Sheffield, Modern Culture and The Japan Foundation.

Leading photographers, writers and filmmakers from Japan have been invited to the city to exhibit and explain their work. Tokyo-based photographer and visual artist, Suzanne Mooney, hosts an exhibition which documents her observations in the capital city and self-portraits from around the world whilst renowned filmmaker, Mika Ninagawa, hosts a talk and film screening.

Sheffield’s Showroom cinema presents the screening of Megumi Sasaki’s A Whale of a Tale, with a Q&A and Kyoko Miyake’s Tokyo Idols, plus a Q&A.

Other events include a conversation with writers Richard Lloyd Parry and Mariko Nagai about the environmental destruction in Japan due to disasters like tsunamis and radiation poisoning and discussions about documentaries and living in Tokyo will be taking place.

A full programme, with links to (mostly free) tickets, can be found here.





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Sheffield’s contribution to protest: a review

Sheffield: often referred to as a ‘friendly’ city, a city surrounded by the serene setting of the Peaks. However, adding depth to its amiable reputation, Sheffield has a fierce history of protest- as you will find out by visiting the ‘Changing Lives’ exhibition at the Weston Park Museum.

As soon as you step into the exhibition you’re immersed in protest. From photographed portraits of figures involved with ‘Save Sheffield’s Trees’ campaign to hand made cross-stitches of the ‘craftivism’ movement to inflatable dinosaurs declaring the fight against fossil fuels. The exhibition documents the role Sheffield has played in protests over the last 200 years, and the city has played a surprisingly large part.

The exhibition opens with a timeline which illustrates all the protests which have occurred in the city from as early as the 18th century, up until last year. Of course, one of the most pivotal- and pertinent- successes of activism was the passing of the Representation of the People Act, in 1918, which was achieved by the women’s suffrage movement. Evidence of the dedication and laborious work which many women invested into this movement can be found throughout the exhibit.

As well as heavily publicised, global protests, movements which are more localised to Sheffield are displayed. For instance, the actions of rebellious ramblers of the early 1900s which secured public access to the city’s surrounding countryside today are highlighted. A large montage of the posters and pictures of the yearlong miners’ strike, anti-Conservative representations and a display about the closure of the steel factories complement each other to reveal the city’s more liberal, left-wing attitude that has dominated throughout its past.

In contrast to the black and white evidence of past protests are the colourful displays of more recent movements, including Black Lives Matter and the inevitable anti-Trump banners. In fact, one of the most entertaining, and certainly most colourful, posters of the exhibition compares the US president to a Wotsit. Need I say more?

The exhibition is free entry and runs until 1 July.

Simon Evans boosts Sheffield’s IQ, at The Leadmill

On Thursday May 3, The Leadmill will play host to Simon Evans and his 2018 UK tour: Genius. Who better to explain the show than the genius himself…

“I’m a bad tempered middle aged man but on this occasion I’m looking at, in particular, the collapse of intelligent conversation, intelligent  discourse, intelligent analysis and visible intelligence in any form in public life. In particular, the failure of public figures to display any kind of intellectual rigour, and my suspicion that we are, evolutionary speaking, gliding back down into the swamp.

I am interested in intelligence and I kind of like it as a style as much as an actual quality, a discernible, statistically measurably quality. I like it as an aspiration, a dress code as much as anything else and I just see infantilisation wherever I go. I just see grown men dressed as children and I see people walking around in outfits that are humiliating to them, I would have thought.

I see the news, and in particular, the way that politicians address the public as being so obviously false and simplified and incoherent and insincere and disingenuous and I furrow my brow and see if anybody else has noticed this and I’m not sure they have.

I can’t be sure whether everybody is comfortable in this, whether British people, in particular, perhaps are ashamed or embarrassed of their sort of colonial past and all of the terrible things we did in order to achieve a sort of power and advantage in the world, and have just decided to scuttle back underneath a rock.

[Reasons as to why this intelligence deficit has occurred could be down to] a collapse in educational standards possibly, use of mass media which leads to dumbing down. I mean dumbing down is in itself a blunt instrument to describe this but there certainly is a race to the bottom because all people are interested in when they produce mass media is numbers. They just want the biggest number of people. And, of course you’re never going to leverage the greatest advertising potential by addressing the elite and letting the others run to keep up. There used to be an expectation that you would pitch your message at a relatively high level and people would aspire to be able to follow it. But now, that feels cruel, it seems quite literally to be quite harsh and hostile and undemocratic and instead everything has to be presented in the medium of dance. It’s hopeless.

I think we’ve all got a shorter attention span which I think social media is responsible for. I mean, I certainly feel that myself. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and it’s much harder to read a book after doing that all day.

I do realise that, as a man in my 50s I’m already losing a lot of it [intelligence]. So, that’s the bittersweet nature of it, that I’ve got a niggling feeling that I’ve peaked myself as well, that my memory is riddled with holes. I am really becoming quite dreadfully forgetful and I have a mounting panic that I already have more books than I’ll ever have time to read. So, it’s a sort of personal fear and terror of the deterioration of the mind. I have a real sense that it is like a muscle, in the sense that if you don’t use it, it just withers. So, I don’t think it’s a generational thing, I just think that modern life is set up to infantilise us.

I think that a lot of people suspect [a societal lack of intelligence] but it’s the kind of thing that people don’t like to talk about much because it’s a bit impolite. But that’s something that I’ve never been too bothered to be perceived to be.”

Whether you’ve noticed a significant drop in the average IQ or not, Simon Evans will make a hilarious argument as to why he thinks so.

Tickets can be bought online at The Leadmill here

200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield

The Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield exhibition opens at the Weston Park Museum on 6 February until 1 July, 2018. 

Cole not dole

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The passing of the Representation of the People Act on 6 February 1918 was a major electoral reform which extended voting rights to 8.5 million women across the UK. The Act was the result of a long struggle for the suffrage movement and the beginnings of British democracy as we know it today. To mark the 100th anniversary of this milestone in the development of our electoral system, Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield will celebrate how people in our city have stood up for what they believe in over the past two centuries.

Among the stories featured in the exhibition will be that of Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures, a group formed soon after the Miners’ Strike in 1984, whose Houghton Main pit camp brought public attention to further pit closures in the 1990s. The exhibition will also include local photographer Chris Saunders’ powerful portraits of people involved in Sheffield’s current tree protests.

The exhibition will examine how protesters have employed a variety of creative strategies to support their cause, from Samuel Holberry and the Sheffield Chartists to fly posters from the 2016 Black Lives Matter campaign. Visitors will find out more about the 1911 census evasion, led by suffragette and Sheffield resident, Adela Pankhurst, as well the radical writings of The Sheffield Register (1787-1794) and The Sheffield Iris (1794-1825).

Changing Lives will also showcase how Sheffield residents have demonstrated unity in protests on a local, national and international level. Visitors will discover objects from the World Peace Congress held at Sheffield City Hall in 1950, alongside placards and banners from more recent protests, including those supporting Junior Doctors, as well as the anti-Trump demonstrations which took place in the city and around the globe in 2017.

Save me

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Louisa Briggs, Project Curator (Sheffield: Protest & Activism) said:

“Sheffield has an incredible history of protest and activism. The passion people have shown, the commitment they’ve demonstrated, and the sacrifices they’ve often made for the causes that matter to them are a hugely important part of the city’s story.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share that story through this exhibition at Weston Park Museum.” 

Visit for more information.

Museums Sheffield: curator talks botanical collection

On Tuesday 23 January, between 1pm-1.45pm, listen to a curator for Museums Sheffield talk about the historical botany collection at the Weston Park Museum- for free.

Museums Sheffield looks after Sheffield’s historical botany collections, home to an ancient Strawberry Clover (Trifolium fragiferum) collected in London in 1773, among many other specimens. Join Alistair McLean, our Natural Sciences curator, to find out more about this important and unique collection, and some of the important names associated with it.

Find more information at: