Our Performance Venues - The Drama Studio, The Octagon Centre and Firth Hall - host a range of drama, dance, comedy and music productions and you can see a programme of films in our very own independent cinema, the Students' Union Film Unit.

Our Department of Music Concerts programme includes performances by our students and visiting artists of international standing.   See their individual web pages for full programme details.





The Showroom Cinema, in partnership with Amnesty International and the School of English at the University of Sheffield, presents

Taking Lives, a mini-season of films exploring representations of capital punishment on screen.

The four films in the season - In Cold Blood (1969), Dancer in the Dark (2000), La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (1999) and A Short Film About Killing (1988) - are thought provoking, unsettling and profoundly moving stories which prompt us to question the psychology of killing, whether that be murder by individuals or state sanctioned executions.

Why do we hurt each other? What does violence have to do with justice? And what does it take to be forgiven? As audiences, these films challenge us to reflect on these questions, and to ask ourselves why the death penalty still exists, and what we can do about it.

Each film in the season will be introduced by an expert speaker and followed by a post-screening discussion exploring the issues around human rights and the death penalty raised by the film.

For more information on Amnesty International’s current work on the death penalty see here

Philosophy at the Showroom

A series of sessions probing the philosophical questions raised by some of cinema’s most intriguing films, and discussing books that have philosophical themes (either philosophical texts, or other works that raise philosophical questions). Our obligations to others, heroism, death, and the functioning of the mind are just some of the themes these screenings and the book events have explored.

The talks will not presuppose any prior knowledge of philosophy, and we hope they will lead to the development of a thriving community of those interested in the subject in the city. Following the showing of the film, there will then be a short talk from a philosopher relating to the film, and then general discussion.

Spring 2019 programme and themes

All the Spring 2019 sessions are films. You will need to pay the standard Showroom ticket charge for seeing the film.


The Miracle Worker (directed by Arthur Penn, 1962) 

25 April 2019, 6pm
Theme: The miracle of language
Introduced by Giulia Casini

The Miracle Worker (1962) by Arthur Penn, winner of two Academy Awards, Best Actress for Anne Bancroft and Best Supporting Actress for Patty Duke. It tells the story of the relationship between Helen Keller, a deaf and blind girl, and Anne Sullivan, her half-blind teacher, and how Anne managed to teach Helen a sign language. The theme of the movie is the miracle of language: there is a moment in which we all understand that to a certain symbol corresponds a certain meaning, and this is what allows us to communicate with others and express our ideas and feelings. The movie offers cause of reflection on the essentiality of the connection between meaning and sign and on how language works through conventions.

More information and book tickets


Black Narcissus (directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1947)

30 May 2019, 6pm
Theme: Sexuality, madness and religion
Introduced by Liz Goodwin

Nuns on film have a long and fascinating history, but they are perhaps never more visceral and iconic than in this visually stunning Powel and Pressberger masterpiece from 1947. The film follows the story of a group of nuns, led by Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), as they attempt to establish a convent in the Himalayas, before each fall victim to various forms of madness, lust, misery and jealousy – shot in gorgeously epic yet skilfully claustrophobic style. This portrayal of the enclosed, celibate monastic life as, at best, unhealthy, and, at worst, dangerously destructive, echoes historical stereotyping, in particular focusing on nuns as sexually frustrated and immoral as a result. This talk will explore the film’s constructions, images and inversions of gender, sexuality and religion, discussing society’s obsession with nuns as sexual objects or as the dangerous, seductive, frightening ‘other.’

More information and book tickets


Dirty Dancing (directed by Emile Ardolino, 1987)

27 June 2019, 6pm
Theme: Gender and class
Introduced by Jenny Saul

Classic 1980s Patrick Swayze film Dirty Dancing has much more to offer than immortal lines like "nobody puts Baby in the corner". It was actually a deeply political movie that explored themes otherwise absent from popular media of the period-- exploring issues of class, gender, and reproductive rights. Indeed, the film was nearly not made because studios shyed away from tackling these topics. In this talk we will discuss the film's commentary on these issues, with special attention to their relevance in our current political moment.

More information and book tickets


If you have any queries on the Philosophy at the Showroom programme, please contact Bob Stern.

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A Sheffield home for musical discovery and understanding.


Classical, World, Jazz... Lunchtime, Rush-Hour, Evening... Informal, Eclectic, Enlightening...

Outstanding artists of the highest national and international standing and performances from our talented students, spanning several genres and styles...what music will you discover?

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The Octagon Centre, The Drama Studio and Firth Hall

Music - Drama - Comedy - Dance

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Live gigs, comedy, spoken word & more at Foundry, Sheffield Students' Union

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Students' Union Film Unit

Students' Union Auditorium every Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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