Thu 24 May 2018
I’m a big fan of The Proclaimers, the Scottish folk-rock duo Craig and Charlie Reid. My Dad used to play their Sunshine On Leith album when I was little, so I’ve known their music for a long time. Most people are familiar with their biggest hit ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, and of course, ‘Sunshine On Leith’ and ‘I’m Gonna Be’. But they have so many more fantastic songs, each one telling a different story. For this reason, they are ideal songs to be made into a musical drama. And that’s just what has happened!
The stage musical, Sunshine On Leith, has been around since 2007. But I didn’t really become aware of it until the film version came out in 2013. I absolutely loved this movie. Set in Edinburgh, my favourite city in the whole wide world. And it’s a musical, my favourite type of film. Put together with brilliant catchy songs that I already knew and could sing along to. Amazing!
So, when I heard a new production of Sunshine On Leith was coming to the Edinburgh stage, I jumped at the chance to see it. And it was as great as I thought it would be!
The story follows three couples, living in Leith. The script is very funny and has lots of jokes about Edinburgh and Leith, which went down very well with an Edinburgh audience. The songs fit perfectly with the story, and in fact it made me listen to the lyrics in a different way.
I love strong regional accents, and I loved that the performers all sang in their (mostly) Scottish accents. It made them more believable as characters, and obviously The Proclaimers’ songs were written for this accent. West Yorkshire Playhouse presented this production. I’m originally from West Yorkshire, and it was lovely to hear a couple of nice strong Yorkshire accents up there too.
The band were on stage the whole time, instead of in the orchestra pit. I think this is much better. It reminds us that they are there and playing everything live. When they tuck the musicians away off stage, sometimes you forget they are there. When really, they are some of the most important performers.
I just loved everything about this show! Wonderful performances, fantastic songs, and just a real feel-good factor all round. You can catch Sunshine On Leith at the Kings Theatre in Edinburgh until 26th May, and then it continues its UK tour.
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ