Sunshine on Leith, Famous Spiegeltent, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Sally Lyall (director)
Adrian MacDonald (Davy), Ross Hunter (Ally), Stacey Mitchell (Liz), Hannah Collins (Yvonne), Sandy Queenan (Rab), Shona Cowie (Jean)
Running time

There’s nothing wrong with Sunny Leith! And there is little wrong with this local production of the musical based on the songs of The Proclaimers. Unlike the slightly sanitised film of the same name, the stage show captures the essence of the port. The show is raucous, humorous and features obviously ordinary people living real lives. While the songs come thick and fast the dialogue is witty and the delivery proves that people in the East have good patter although some of the jokes maybe are lost on visitors.

This was the first performance at the Famous Spielberg tent having moved from the theatre at Broughton HS and the director used the new setting creatively and to good effect. The sound of the wind and the bells from the trams added to the atmosphere and with the principals all using mics there was no difficulty getting the full power of the anthems and also the emotion of the quieter numbers. Although the lyrics of pre-written songs can have difficulty working into a story, creator Stephen Greenhorn has actually widened the appeal and quality of the originals. The rendering of the title song by Shona Cowie (Jean) would have brought a tear to a glass eye and her overall performance is first-class.

Letter from America, possibly the one track whose lyrics might have looked out of place is delivered by different voices very effectively as was the song by the singer of the flashback to Rab’s younger days. Rab and Jean, as the parents are a good foil with Sandy Queenan capturing the typical father and undemonstrative husband.

The story is of two young men (Ally & Davy) coming home from the Army and settling in civvy street and touches on the problems of readjustment to work and relationships.

Stacey Mitchell is a feisty Liz and her friend Yvonne (Hannah Collins) shares some tender and not so tender moments with Davy (Adrian MacDonald).

The musical is all about the three couples ably supported by an excellent ensemble and a live band.
All the singers are very good, Ross Hunter as Ally has a powerful voice and has the ability to move between elation and being distraught with ease. All the principals are good singers but their voices had that edge that gave a credible ‘Made in Leith’ feel.

One minor gripe was that for logistical reasons, some of the cast are out front during the interval and were not staying in character but chatting to friends in the audience which is the equivalent of peeping out of the curtains!

Runs to Aug 25th, 1.15pm