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'Sterling Silver was our first musical.​


Set in Sheffield 1922, it tells the story of Daniel, heir to 'Thornton's Cutlery in Sterling Works on Arundel Street, and his relationship with Lizzie, a buffer girl.


It's a romantic tale set in the world of grinders and buffers girls, with a range of themes worked into the script.

The following is our pre-production Press Release, and gives more background information on this, our first musical 

The buffer girls are back!

 ‘Gentlemen don’t go for walks on Sat’day afternoons wi’ buffer girls!’

‘Well it’s about time they did!’

Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield’s new musical,  ‘Sterling Silver’, at the city’s Library Theatre in Tudor Square in December, takes us back to 1922, to the world of the cutlery industry in post-war Sheffield.

With eight original songs, it tells the story of how buffer girl, Lizzie, and Daniel, heir to Thornton’s cutlery, fall for each other at a time when such things aren’t supposed to happen. It’s lively, funny, poignant - and it comes from this unusual theatre company, whose adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ last year sold out to a chorus of enthusiastic audience reviews - ‘ a fantastic script and production.’

‘Yes, it’s a love story,’ says author and director Andy Gardiner, ‘but we hope it’s more than that. It’s set in a time when the world was supposed to be changing, but when the workers still had to grind out a living, some of them literally in Sheffield! It’s a celebration of them and their city.

He’s written the songs with Ben Barker, a musician with Sheffield 70’s band Xero, who has created a vibrant soundtrack for the cast of 30, half of whom are on the Autism spectrum.

‘We’re a truly integrated group,’ says Andy, and we feel we all benefit from that. We’re delighted that audiences comment on the quality of what we do. Our signature show about Autism, ‘In Someone Else’s Shoes, which we’ve performed to a range of audiences in Sheffield, makes a plea for us all to try to see things as others see them- a first step towards a society more accepting of difference.’

Maia, who’s been part of the group for eighteen months, likes the way ‘Sterling Silver’ is relevant today. ‘The place of women in society, equal pay, the gap between the rich and the poor and how poverty destroys dreams - these were issues in 1922 and they still are in 2018.’

With financial support from the The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation Distribution Fund, managed by South Yorkshire's Community Foundation, the production is at the Library Theatre for three nights

And the sell-0ut audiences said:

"  ... absolutely fantastic ...  I think it could be on a big stage, it's compelling as a story and so many great songs. "

" Absolutely brilliant show. We loved it and didn't want it to finish. "

" An extremely professional and enjoyable performance.  All our guests were captivated. "

" A lovely celebration of Sheffield and its heritage. "

" ... the vibe from onstage was infectious! "


" Everything - the staging, the sound, the lighting - was of the high standard I've come to expect from Spectrum. "

Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield

Registered charity number 1166807