Sunshine on Leith

Aug 23 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✭✩     Joyful

Young critics scheme review
The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87): Fri 7 – Mon 31 Aug 2015

Captivate Theatre reprise their take on Sunshine on Leith, Stephen Greenhorn’s feel-good jukebox musical, based on the songs of the Proclaimers.

The story follows one family living in Leith, and picks up as son Davy, along with his best friend Ally, return home after leaving the army. They are greeted by Davy’s parents, Rab and Jean, as well as Davy’s sister Liz, who just so happens to be Ally’s girlfriend.

Sunshing on LeithThe cast are thoroughly entertaining, with the relationships between family members feeling genuine. Adrian MacDonald as Davy and Malcolm Cumming as Ally are convincing as friends since childhood, with playful banter between the two matched by moments of genuine sentiment.

Likewise, fantastic on-stage chemistry between Shona Cowie as Jean and Sandy Queenan as Rab ensures an affecting portrayal of the couple’s long-standing love.

Stacey Mitchell as Liz and Ellen McBride, as her friend Yvonne who falls for Davy, are both great as well. Mitchell brings an empathetic performance as Liz, a woman afraid of being trapped on one path for the rest of her life. McBride conveys Yvonne’s vulnerability and reluctance to become too close to another person after a series of bad relationships.

charismatic and entertaining

The large supporting cast are also excellent in the various smaller and single-scene roles in the play. In several scenes such as the football game they play a larger role, and prove to be just as charismatic and entertaining as the leads.

The production has a minimal set. Many props such as backpacks and rifles are used, the set itself is just one or two chairs that only are used for a few scenes. Director Sally Lyall makes good use of the space of the Famous Speigeltent, particularly the aisles, which are used by the actors.

The musical elements of the production are well performed, both by the cast of strong singers, but also the live band, directed by musical director Tommie Travers, which performs the various Proclaimers’ songs dotted throughout the story. But however well delivered, while many songs’ presence feel natural and organic, some feel forced into the narrative for their own sake.

Running time: 2 hours
The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87), St Andrew Square, EH2 1AF
Wednesday 5 – Monday  31 August 2015
Not Mon 10, 17, 24 or Thurs 13-Sun 16.
Fri 7 – Wed 12: 5pm; Tue 18-Mon 31: 1.30pm.
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Or the ARfringe website:
Company website:


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