Music Hall, Sheffield

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Venue Type & Location

Music Hall

Site Name: Music Hall, Sheffield
Location: Sheffield
County: Yorkshire: West Riding
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Overview

  • Address: Surrey Street, Sheffield. For a current map, Click Here.



  • Alternate Names: Surrey Street Music Hall



  • Audience Composition: According to Dagmar Kift, the entertainments at the Music Hall were “mainly addressed to a middle-class audience, although its doors were not closed to the working class” (20). Kift seems to imply that these groups generally frequented separate entertainments at the venue, however, with Sheffield’s labourers being especially likely to attend the temperance meetings and reduced-price concerts sometimes held there.



  • Performance Space Description: In his General Directory of 1845, William White describes the Music Hall as a “large stone building, in Surrey-street” [15, quoted in Kathleen Barker Collection]. Contemporary images of the exterior reveal it to be a symmetrical, two storey structure with doors at the far left and right of the façade and four arched windows spanning the central section. As yet, no information about the performance space itself has been found.



  • Typical Fare: The Music Hall seems to have been used for a variety of purposes during the mid-19th Century. On one hand, J. Edward Vickers claims that the building had a reputation for being "rather more highbrow" than other venues in the city, and that it was known for housing performances of classical music in particular (236-9). That said, The Sheffield Directory and Guide of 1828 also notes that “the Museum, the meetings of the Literary and Philosophical Society, the Subscription Library, and the members of one of the News rooms, are respectively accommodated under [the Music Hall’s] roof.” (lxii-lxiii). Similarly, Kift claims that - in addition to musical entertainments featuring a range of performers (from local choirs to major names like Jenny Lind & Franz Liszt) - the hall was also used for readings, temperance meetings and entertainments organized by the local Mechanics’ Institute (20).



  • Performance History

  • The Music Hall stood on a portion of Henry Tudor's former estate. According to Vickers, "Tudor died in 1814, whereupon his estate was bought by Rowland Hodgson, who sold part of it in 1822 to shareholders of the Music Hall" (216-7)


  • The Music Hall itself was erected shortly after this purchase. An entry in The Sheffield Directory and Guide suggests that the venue was built in 1823, through the “cooperation of a number of gentlemen” (lxii). It then remained - in Vickers' words - "the chief concert and exhibition hall in the city" until 1910.



  • Following its career as a performance venue, the building housed a public library for a time. It was torn down entirely in 1934.



    Please see the 'Bibliographic Sources' link at right for a complete listing of materials (both primary and secondary) from which the above information was compiled.


    Beth Marquis

    Additional research by Paul Babiak

  • Events at Music Hall, Sheffield

    Event Date Venue Location Troupe
    Minstrel Show - 1 October 1849 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding "Ethiopian Serenaders" (impostors)
    Lecture 2 January 1843 - 3 January 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Catlin & Museum/Lecture Troupe
    Exhibition 9 January 1843 - 9 January 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Catlin & Museum/Lecture Troupe
    Exhibition 10 January 1843 - 10 January 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Catlin & Museum/Lecture Troupe
    Exhibition 11 January 1843 - 14 January 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Catlin & Museum/Lecture Troupe
    Exhibition 16 January 1843 - 21 January 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Catlin & Museum/Lecture Troupe
    Vocal Entertainment 10 February 1843 - 10 February 1843 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Russell, Henry
    Vocal Entertainment 2 December 1844 - 2 December 1844 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Russell, Henry
    Vocal Entertainment 29 September 1845 - 29 September 1845 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Phillips, Henry
    Variety 24 November 1845 - 29 November 1845 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Unknown Minstrel Troupe (Sheffield, 45)
    Variety 12 January 1846 - 17 January 1846 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Ethiopian Brothers
    Variety 15 November 1847 - 15 November 1847 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Lantum Serenaders
    Minstrel Show 7 March 1848 - 8 March 1848 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Female American Serenaders
    Vocal Entertainment 12 October 1848 - 12 October 1848 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Russell, Henry
    Minstrel Show 31 October 1848 - 3 November 1848 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Ethiopian Serenaders (1848-49)
    Exhibition 29 March 1852 - 3 April 1852 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Kafir and Zuloo Chiefs
    Variety 1 November 1852 - 6 November 1852 Sheffield, Yorkshire: West Riding Penrose and three Negro Minstrels

    Bibliographic Sources

    • Era (London) July 1, 1849: 1:2.
    • Kift, Dagmar. The Victorian Music Hall. Culture, Class and Conflict. Roy Kift (trans). Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996.
    • Picture Sheffield – Sheffield Local Studies Library. 03/14/2008 (http://www.picturesheffield.com/database.html)

      (A search for ‘Music Hall, Surrey Street’ will turn up several interesting images, with corresponding descriptive captions.)

    • Sheffield Directory and Guide. Sheffield: John Blackwell, 1828.
    • Vickers, J. Edward. A Popular History of Sheffield. East Ardsley, Wakefield: EP Publishing Limited, 1978.
    • White, Wm. General Directory. p15. Transcribed in University of Bristol, Kathleen Barker Collection (KB/3).