Sunshine on Leith

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.

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Reviews by Richard Beck

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Captivate Theatre's five-star sell-out show returns to the Fringe. 'I defy you not to be uplifted by this production. The joy exuding from these performers is infectious and it is a pleasure to have such a significant local work present at the Fringe. Life successfully affirmed' (Broadwaybaby.com). A jubilant and moving musical written by Stephen Greenhorn and featuring songs of the Proclaimers.

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