Make space for Sheffield’s newest city-centre theatre
After postponing their launch several times due to the pandemic, The Makerspace team are finally set to bring live theatre back to the heart of Sheffield.
The venue is run by innovative young theatre company Only Lucky Dogs, who have spent their time in lockdown creating a theatre from scratch in Portland Works. The Makerspace is the result of a long-term collaboration between Only Lucky Dogs and Portland Works staff and volunteers.
Opening on 18 June, the venue, funded in-part by the Arts Council, will host a mix of exciting performers at the dawn of their careers from across the UK.
Productions will be broadcast online and to in-house audiences, which the company hopes will be at full capacity with no social distancing after 21 June.
“Theatre has been stuck online for much longer than we expected,” said Pippa Le Grand, producer of Only Lucky Dogs and board member at Portland Works. “I’ve seen some amazing performances online, but nothing quite compares to the audience and actors being together in a theatre. We can’t wait to finally get started.”
The Makerspace will host performers from across the north of England, including a comedy-drama about conspiracy theories, Radio 2 award-winning folk musician Rowan Rheingans, and an LGBT+ scratch night.
Artistic director James Huxtablesaid: “It’s been frustrating to keep postponing, especially for our fantastic performers who have been preparing their shows for so long. But it’ll be worth it to create a really exciting programme for the audience. We’ve been able to organise a programme of workshops to introduce people to different aspects of making theatre too.”
For theatre performers who have been trying to build their careers during the pandemic, small, intimate venues like the Makerspace are crucial to their survival. Larger venues, who have suffered heavy financial losses during the pandemic, might not be willing to take a risk on booking little-known artists. The chance to perform in venues like the Makerspace can help emerging performers stay in the industry and develop their career.
Only Lucky Dogs say that their venue will become a go-to for every Sheffield theatre-lover keen to support emerging artists and enjoy new shows in a beautiful, historic venue. Portland Works already supports more than 30 artists and craftspeople, and the team hope to add the theatre-makers of tomorrow to their roster.
Tickets for both live-streaming and seated audiences are available at www.onlyluckydogs.co.uk.