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Operation Crucible - Finborough Theatre

Operation Crucible

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

OPERATION Crucible, a first play by new playwright Kieran Knowles, receives its world premiere at Finborough Theatre, where it runs Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, 2013.

Sheffield’s on fire, it glows orange, like hell, like a furnace, like steel. The streets which were familiar are now just bricks, mortar and flame. My childhood, my home… just a pile of stone.

Operation Crucible is a story of four ordinary men in extraordinary times…

On December 12, 1940, more than six hundred people lost their lives in over seven hours of continuous bombing by Germany’s Luftwaffe. Their objective? Wiping Sheffield’s world famous steel works – the heartland of Britain’s munitions manufacturing – clean off the map. The ruthless attack left Sheffield in ruins – destroying families, shattering a way of life, and changing the city forever.

At 11.44pm on the night of the raid, a single 500kg bomb reduced the Marples Hotel, which stood proudly in Fitzalan Square, from seven storeys to just fifteen feet of rubble. Only one of the ten compartments in the hotel’s cellars withstood the blast. Within it, trapped, were four men. This is their story, from beginning to end…

Bryony Shanahan directs a cast that includes Salvatore D’Aquilla, Kieran Knowles, Joshua Mayes-Cooper and Paul Tinto.

Operation Crucible is presented by Folie à deux Productions and From Ground Up Theatre Company in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.

Tickets: £18, £16 concessions – available from the box office on 0844 847 1652 or online at

Times: Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm; Tuesday matinees at 2pm.

Also at Finborough Theatre: the first production in sixty years of R. C. Sherriff’s supernatural drama, The White Carnation.