Local Hero for Lyceum

February 3, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More

Musical adaptation to get Edinburgh world premiere

The Royal Lyceum is to stage the world premiere of a musical theatre adaptation of Bill Forsyth’s iconic 1983 movie Local Hero as part of its Spring 2019 season.

Forsyth and Mark Knopfler, who wrote the film’s score, are being joined by the Lyceum’s artistic director David Grieg in the project, which is described as a “re-envisioning” of the movie.

Bill Forsyth and David Greig in the Lyceum. Pic Mihaela Bodlovic

The new musical will include Knopfler’s original instrumental themes as well as new material written specifically for the show.

After opening in Edinburgh, the show will transfer to London’s Old Vic, whose artistic director Matthew Warchus describes the movie as having the: “perfect mixture of situation comedy and romance, combined with a strong and important message”.

Set in a remote village on Scotland’s north-east coast, Local Hero follows an American oil company executive who has been sent to buy up the entire village so an oil terminal can be built in its place.

He falls in love with the people and the place itself. And, charged with telling his boss of “anything unusual” in the sky, he describes the northern lights from the phone box on the beach in the film’s most iconic scene.


The film stared Burt Lancaster as the eccentric American boss, Peter Riegert as his minion who travels to Scotland and Jenny Seagrove as the marine researcher Marina.

True to Forsyth’s own credentials as a local hero in the film-making world, it was also notable for its Scottish cast, including Peter Capaldi in his first film role, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jennifer Black and John Gordon Sinclair.

David Greig says: “Local Hero is one of those great Scottish stories that has captured the imaginations of people across the world, it has been one of my favourite films since I first saw it as a teenager.

“To have the chance to revisit these wonderful characters to help create a musical is an absolute delight, but to be working alongside Bill Forsyth and Mark Knopfler to bring this to The Lyceum and Old Vic stages is a dream come true – it really feels like the stars have aligned!”

Greig, who is best known as a playwright, also has strong form for musicals, from low-fi hit Midsummer – which is being revived by the NTS this summer – to the book for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opened in the West End in 2013 and later transferred to Broadway.

The movie and soundtrack are available to buy on Amazon. Click for details:

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  1. Geert Wemmenhove says:

    When and where can we buy tickets for this musical??

    Geert Wemmenhove


    • Thom Dibdin says:

      Hello Geert,

      I think that tickets will go on sale in the summer. The Lyceum usually announces its programme in April, with tickets going on public sale in June.


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