Captivate Theatre returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year with their production of Sunshine on Leith, at Multistory, first performed in 2014 and twice thereafter. What better way could there be to celebrate the return of live theatre to the world’s largest arts festival?
a tear-jerking yet ultimately uplifting show
It’s hard to go wrong with Stephen Greenhorn’s show that pulls so powerfully at the heartstrings and has the moving music of the Proclaimers to heighten the joy and accompany the sadness which alternate in this work. The simplicity of the story is a huge asset. Pals Ally and Davy long for a normal life after serving a tour in Afghanistan and completing their military service. Love and loss, family upsets and the struggle to find fulfilment feature large, but it’s all carefully structured in this tightly-written work that flows so well.
The main challenge to this production comes from the venue. The ill-conceived idea of creating an auditorium on the top of a multi-storey car park without putting a cover over it seriously detracts from the enjoyment when it’s raining. While the view from the lower level of seating is good, from the back row of the upper tier (row A) the cast seems distant.
No names are supplied for members of the company but the lead characters are well cast both in terms of acting and singing to give full vent to the emotional range of this musical. The chorus comes into its own with the big numbers and solid backing from the orchestra. They certainly don’t disappoint with the grand finale of I'm Gonna Be that brought people to their feet and caused much waving of arms.
It's a tear-jerking yet ultimately uplifting show and the good news is that if you’re a local you don't have to walk five hundred miles to see it.