Two of our most supportive theatres are coming together in what we can expect to be an exceptional collaboration with Sunshine on Leith. News of the co-production has been known for a while now, with appetites craving news on the casting of the piece – well, time to shine some light on that front.
The now-legendary soundtrack from the world-renowned Leithers (Via Auchtermuchty) The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith is the story of two returning soldiers from Edinburgh re-discovering precisely what ‘home’ is after struggling to re-adjust to their lives. A fresh production, this beloved musical is the perfect piece to re-open the Pitlochry Festival Theatre Summer Season, but also a complimentary closing show for the King’s Theatre before its two-year hiatus to finally conduct the £25 million Capital redevelopment.
And after a two-year sleep – it’s safe to say we’ll know precisely where home is when The Old Lady of Leven Street reopens in 2024.
Excited to co-produce the production, and draw on a wealth of talent across Scotland, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres Fiona Gibson said:
“We’re beyond excited to be co-producing Sunshine on Leith with Pitlochry Festival Theatre as the King’s final show before its transformational redevelopment and today we welcome our fantastic cast to visit the theatre and take a wee tour around Leith. For Capital Theatres, producing this show expands on our ambition to be at the heart of Scotland’s theatre community, developing Scottish talent – which this cast is brimming with. Sunshine on Leith will also be a fitting swan-song to The King’s as we know it, before it re-emerges as a re-invigorated world-class theatre and thriving community hub.”
Leading the cast are the excellent Keith Jack and Connor Going, playing fellow servicemen Ally and Davy. Best-known to audiences at home for his part in the BBC1 series Any Dream Will Do, Jack has gone on to have a lucrative and extensive career across UK theatre. And those who joined us for Wind In The Willows last year will remember the charismatic presence and excellent vocals of Going.
Making up the remainder of the cast are a plethora of talented names and marvellous additions to the production, especially Scottish singer Alyson Orr and Rhiane Drummond. With Blythe Jandoo, Meg Chaplin joining onstage, and Keith MacPherson and Rachel McAllister undertaking the role of heart and soul of the show husband-and-wife Rab and Hazel.
Any familiar with the recent productions from the Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman (The Adventures with the Painted People) and the Theatre’s Associate Director Ben Occhipinti (who gave us all the charming Wind in the Willows last year) will have followed the news of the production closely. Well, the time is now. Designed by Adrian Ress, with lighting and sound from Kate Bonney and Calum Paterson, Sunshine on Leith will slot perfectly into both Theatre’s spaces – why not take a visit to both to appreciate the spectacle? That’s our plan anyway.
In creating the piece, Newman said:
“I’ve wanted to make Stephen Greenhorn’s fantastic Scottish musical (with many classics from The Proclaimers) for years. It is an uplifting, hopeful story about family, responsibility, and love. And the musical itself is the perfect blend of singing, drama, music, and dancing...
This will be a brand-new production performed by an incredibly talented Ensemble of actor-musicians and it’s being made by a brilliant creative team at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Capital Theatres. I am looking forward to co-directing with Ben Occhipinti, as both of us have greatly missed making memories with audiences. After everything that has happened, this wonderful musical offers us the chance to really celebrate life.”
Sunshine on Leith will open at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Thursday, May 20th and run with select dates through to October 1st. Tickets for which can be obtained here.
Sunshine on Leith will land at the King’s Theatre from June 7th – 18th. Tickets for which can be obtained here.
Photo Credit – Greg MacVean