Want to know more about Desire Under the Elms?

If you're intrigued by our production of Desire Under the Elms, but want to know a little bit more about the production, then our 60-second guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Desire Under the Elms.


What is Desire Under the Elms?
Set on an old New England farm it tells the story of a widower, his new young bride, his son and their battle for the ownership of the family farm. But the battle lines soon become blurred when the son and his father’s wife embark on a passionate affair…

Then what happens?
I don’t want to spoil it for you! But it’s fair to say it’s a rich, meaty drama and rather Greek.

I thought it was set in New England?
Greek as in a Greek tragedy: family feuds, deceit, passion, ‘desire’ that type of thing. You’ll have to come and see it.

Who wrote this Greek tragedy set on an old New England farm?
The Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, a contemporary of Tennessee Williams (A Street Car Named Desire) and Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman) – he’s one of the great American playwrights. He was one of the first to use the drama techniques of realism, as introduced by Ibsen and Chekhov, in American Literature. Want to know an interesting fact about Eugene O’Neill?

Eugene’s daughter at the age of 18 married… Charlie Chaplin. He was 54, and Oona was his fourth wife - they had eight children together. Eugene was not happy, really not happy, he never spoke to his daughter again.

OK, slight diversion who’s in the play?
Olivier Award-winning Matthew Kelly who starred in The History Boys at the Crucible in 2013 (yes the one you might know from the TV). He’s now better known for his theatrical work - he won his Olivier for Of Mice and Men. Also, Aoife Duffin who was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for A Girl is a Half Formed Thing. You can find out more about the rest of this fantastic cast here.

Brilliant, who directs it?
Film and theatre Director Sam Yates, who recently directed Andrew Scott in The Hope Rooms, he was voted one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow and previously featured as a theatre rising star in The Observer. Oh and he was tipped as one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Next 25 Years for theatre.

Great, where and when can I see Desire Under the Elms?
At the Crucible from Wed 20 September – Sat 14 October.

So… we’ll meet under an Elm tree on opening night and go together?
Lets just meet in the foyer, it’s easier.

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Sheffield Theatres is the largest theatre complex outside London. Across our three auditoria: the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Crucible Studio, we offer a huge variety of home-grown and touring productions, as well as a thriving programme of participatory events and activities.