Sunshine on Leith

August 9, 2022 | By More

★★★★☆     Brilliant

Rose Theatre (Venue 76): Fri 5 – Sun 28 Aug 2022
Review by Yvonne Paterson

Captivate Theatre’s production of Sunshine on Leith returns for a full run of the fringe at the Rose Theatre after last year’s sell-out run at the pop-up MultiStory venue.

Sunshine on Leith is Stephen Greenhorn’s jukebox musical teeming with songs by the Proclaimers. Sky Takes The Soul is a goosebump-inducing opener as the lights come up to to ensemble cast in camouflage army gear, setting the tone for the performance ahead.

A scene from Captivate’s Sunshine on Leith. Pic: Sally Lyall.

Davy and Ally have finally been granted leave from the army and during the upbeat I’m On My Way, make their way home through the streets of Edinburgh to their loved ones in Leith.

There seems to be a genuine friendship between Ally played by Martin Mitchell and Davy played by Sean Quinn which absolutely adds to the dimension of the characters as the banter between them is believable, funny and affectionate.

Quinn gives a confident and real performance and comes over as one of the lads but there’s a hint that there’s a little bit more to Davy than that.

Mitchell equally gives a confident performance, filled with cheeky charm and wit – it’s clear he’s happy to see his girlfriend Liz…Davey’s sister.

Obviously one of the first things to do after getting back home is to have a pint – no, a night – in the local pub where Liz sets up a blind date between her friend Yvonne and Davy. There is clearly a connection established between the two during the vibrant Over and Done With.

A scene from Captivate’s Sunshine on Leith. Pic: Sally Lyall.

Cathrine Bain makes an excellent Yvonne. Her vocals are on point and she brings an element of no nonsense to the character. She’s not wanting to waste time in a pointless relationship and is justifiable when she challenges Davy on just how committed he is.

Davy is not the only one thinking about settling down. As Ally and Liz share a heart-to-heart during Make My Heart Fly, Georgia Roberts as Liz delivers an impressively heartfelt performance.

Ally completely misinterprets Liz’s feelings and Let’s Get Married is the fantastic result of his thoughts on proposing to marry his sweetheart, sharing his intentions with his pals in the pub. The number is fun, vibrant and comical with Danielle Logan’s choreography adding to the hilarity as his friends offer their advice on what a proposal should look like.

While the boys are settling in at home Davey’s dad Rab’s past comes back to haunt him. With an unexpected visit from Eilidh (Dannielle Logan) the daughter he didn’t know he had from a past relationship.

Sandy Queenan offers a believable performance as the torn, old school-minded man Rab. However Rab’s decision to hide this revelation from the family has its consequences when his wife Jean discovers a letter and photograph during their 30th Anniversary party revealing his infidelity.

Hazel Beattie gives a brilliant performance as Jean. Conveying the hurt and pain she feels on discovering her husband’s secret from the past. Beattie’s Hate My Love For You is resonating, but she bares all emotionally and gives a heartbreaking performance of Sunshine on Leith when Rab falls ill. You really feel her hurt, her anger and her fear of losing the man she loves.

This clever production has you wanting to see the couples resolve their issues, and captures the complications of love beautifully with strong vocals, honest performances and fabulous music.

Sunshine On Leith is a heart warming musical that is not to be missed.

Running time: One hour 30 minutes (no interval)
Rose Theatre (Main Stage), 204 Rose Street, EH2 4AZ (Venue 76)
Friday 5 – Sunday 28 August 2022
Daily (not Suns): 20:30
Tickets and details: Book here.

A scene from Captivate’s Sunshine on Leith. Pic: Sally Lyall.

ENDS

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Comments (3)

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  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this production of “Sunshine on Leith” and was amazed to discover that this was an amateur company. All the lead performances were strong backed up by a tightly drilled ensemble and excellent musicians. I’m not usually a fan of jukebox musicals where the songs of well known composers/groups are shoehorned into a weak plot but this worked really well and was the best musical of this type that I’ve seen. Will definitely try and catch some more shows by this talented company while I’m here at the festival. Recommended.

  2. Kirsty says:

    Absolutely loved this show! Very cleverly done with great performances by all.

    • Julie McIntyre says:

      This is a fantastic show woth wonderful performances especially from Hazell Beattie as Jean and a superb and confident performance from Georgia Roberts as Liz. A very professional and heartwarming show.