REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith @ West Yorkshire Playhouse

 

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The familiar stage of the West Yorkshire Playhouse transported us the 200 miles into the hustle and bustle of Leith Walk. Sunshine on Leith brought to us by Director; James Brining was a joy from start to finish. The attention to detail was impeccable, The Irn Bru and Tennents sign making us feel almost dock side and the clever staging and audience integration made you immediately feel part of the action. The band were embedded on the stage and with talented actors weaving their instrument playing into the fabric of the scenes, with guitar player popping up from behind the bar and the pianist on the reception desk; it was an absolute delight.

The story is woven together with over eighteen songs from the Caledonian Brothers, The Proclaimers, with the popular hits “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) and of course Letter from America”. The passion of delivery during “Hate my Love for You” by Jean played by Hilary Mclean was one of the shows highlights for me coupled with an exceptional portrayal of Ex-Squaddie Ally played by Paul-James Corrigan who shone during “Throw the “R” Away”.

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My confession is, I was already a big fan of the film and The Proclaimers so I did not doubt that I would love this show. It did however exceed all of my expectations and it was a perfect blend of musical and action covering the love, loss and devastation caused by buried secrets. I am already going to see this again and if you get the chance make sure you catch it.