Thursday, September 28

Sunshine on Leith – Assembly Rooms, Bijou (tent) George Street

Set in the inspired venue choice of a giant tent on George Street, Captivate Theatre bring this breezy and lively musical which can easily cope with some background street chatter. In fact, it fits right in (as if it’s meant) to many of scenes; in the pub, on the football terraces or in the hospital. And as for the lighting techie! It took me a while to realise that we were at nature’s mercy, and miraculously it seemed that the light rose and fell at all the right points. Behind a cloud for the sad scenes and full sun for the bright ones. Miraculous!

To the wonderful music and lyrics of Scotland’s finest, The Proclaimers, Scottish Country (without the Western), we follow two likely lads, Ally and Davy, discharged from the army and returning home to Edinburgh (no, Leith!) to try to carve out a new life on civvy street. And with Musical Director, Tommie Travers on the baton we know we are in safe hands, the music and the singing of the entire cast is just stunning.

Ally returns to his long-term relationship and hopes to get married, and Davy is exploring a new one. Meanwhile Davy’s parents are going through a difficult time after his fathers’ daughter from a previous relationship turns up out of the blue.

Hazel Beattie’s performance as the mother is sensational and her performance Sunshine On Leith an absolute tear-jerker. Not a dry seat in the tent.

This is a show about family life, love and acceptance, and the realisation that life is short, and loss is permanent. Grab it whilst you can. An emotional roller-coaster, take hankies.

For anyone looking for a big slice of Scottish music and Scottish humour, you cannot go far wrong with this one. This is not just musical theatre; this is Captivate musical theatre – totally dependable and technically brilliant.

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 11th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.