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Written by the Crucible Theatre’s first Artistic Director, Colin George, and his son, Tedd, with foreword by Ian McKellen, Stirring Up Sheffield is the extraordinary story of a group of visionaries who came together to build a revolutionary thrust stage theatre in Sheffield. The radical design they proposed for the auditorium—which redefined the actor/audience relationship—aroused fierce opposition from Sheffield’s conservative quarters and several of the era’s theatrical luminaries. But it also galvanised a new generation of Britain’s actors, directors, designers and playwrights who launched a passionate defence of the thrust stage and its theatrical potential.


Winner of the 2022 Theatre Book Prize by Society for Theatre Research. 

“Adventures need heroes and here its principal one is Colin George, the first artistic director of The Crucible Theatre, who in this memoir recalls in fascinating detail how, aided by others locally and internationally, a dream came true. Here, too, there are troublesome villains, who failed to share our hero’s imagination and determination.”

Ian McKellen


"An extraordinary book."

Michael Billington, The Guardian



'Here’s a book that will become a collector's item...'

  David Poole in The Sheffielder



Stirring Up Sheffield

SKU: 0003
  • Hardback
    ISBN 978-1-8384036-2-1
    234 x 156 mm
    Over 200 illustrations, original designs and photos from the period

  • Colin George

    Colin George was the founding Artistic Director of the Crucible Theatre. Born in Pembroke Dock, Wales, in 1929, Colin read English at University College, Oxford, and was a founding member of the Oxford and Cambridge Players. After acting in the repertory companies of Coventry and Birmingham, Colin joined the Nottingham Playhouse in 1958 as Assistant Director to Val May. In 1962, he was appointed as Assistant Director at the Sheffield Playhouse, becoming Artistic Director in 1965. Colin played a leading role in the creation of the Crucible Theatre, which opened in November 1971, and was the Crucible’s Artistic Director from 1971 to 1974.

    Colin worked as Artistic Director of the Adelaide State Theatre Company (1976-1980), as Artistic Director of the Anglo-Chinese Chung Ying Theatre Company (1983-1985) and as Head of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (1985-1992). Colin joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as an actor (1994-96 & 1997-99).

    In 2011 Colin was invited by the Crucible’s Artistic Director, Daniel Evans, to join the Company for the 40th anniversary production of Othello. This was to be his last theatrical performance and, fittingly, it took place on the thrust stage he had created. Following Othello, Colin produced the first draft of this book, before his death in October 2016.

    Tedd George

    Tedd George (aka Dr Edward George), is a writer and economist. Tedd has a PhD in political science from the University of Bristol. His book—The Cuban intervention in Angola, 1965-1991: from Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale—was published by Routledge in 2005.

    From 2005 to 2011, Tedd worked in the Africa Department of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), with responsibility for Lusophone and Francophone Africa. Tedd worked as Head of Research and Head of the UK for pan-African bank, Ecobank before setting up his own company, Kleos Advisory Ltd, which provides thought leadership and strategic advisory on African markets. Tedd regularly appears as chair, speaker and moderator on the world conference and webinar circuit, and as a commentator in the media.

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