With the main building opening for the first time in over two years, Pitlochry Festival Theatre is thrilled to welcome audiences through its doors once again, with a foot-stomping new production of Sunshine on Leith, Stephen Greenhorn’s much-loved musical featuring the songs from world-renowned Scottish band The Proclaimers.
Co-produced with Capital Theatres, Sunshine on Leith will open at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 20 May – 2 June, then transfer to the King’s Theatre Edinburgh from 7-18 June before heading back to the Perthshire theatre from 24 June -1 October.
Originally staged at Dundee Rep in 2007 before being transformed in to the 2013 smash hit feature film adaptation starring Jane Horrocks and Peter Mullan, Sunshine on Leith sees the return of service members Davy and Ally from war overseas, to be confronted with civilian life filled with relationships, blind dates, and new responsibilities. As the pair embark on intertwining journeys in love, they begin to question what home really means to them as they rediscover their sense of identity.
Set to the classic songs of much-loved The Proclaimers, including “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), “Letter from America” and of course the emotive “Sunshine on Leith”, this feel-good Scottish musical asks the question, would you walk 500 miles for love?
Sunshine on Leith’s excellent cast is led by Keith Jack and Connor Going, playing fellow service members and best friends Ally and Davy. Keith Jack is best-known for BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do where he was runner-up in the popular BBC talent show. His extensive theatre credits include the UK tours of Fame and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat while Connor’s credits include last year’s Pitlochry Festival Theatre production of Wind in the Willows and the touring production of The Choir of Man.
Starring alongside them are Rhiane Drummond (Dreamgirls and 9-5, West End and Heathers, UK Tour) as Yvonne; Blythe Jandoo (Wizard of Oz, Sheffield Crucible and appearing in the films Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, Walt Disney Pictures) as Liz; Meg Chaplin (Arrival, imPOSSIBLE and The Midnight Child, UK Tour) as Eilidh; Rachael McAllister (A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Hazel; Keith Macpherson (Stan and Ollie, BBC Films and Donald and Benoit, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Scottish singer Alyson Orr (Cinderella, Pavilion Theatre Glasgow) as husband-and-wife Rab and Jean.
The cast is completed by Jessica Brydges (Peter Pan, Maltings Theatre); Richard Colvin (Sunshine on Leith, UK tour and A Christmas Carol, Bolton Octagon); Anna Fordham (The Borrowers, Watermill Theatre and The Athena, Sky); James Hudson (The Choir of Man, West End and Saturday Night Fever, West End/UK Tour); Kit Orton (Oliver, Watermill Theatre) and making his professional stage debut Richie Spencer.
Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman (Summer Holiday, The Adventures with the Painted People and Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and the Theatre’s Associate Director Ben Occhipinti (Wind in the Willows, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), designed by Adrian Rees, with lighting by Kate Bonney, musical direction by Richard Reeday, costume design by Julie Carlin, and movement by Lesley Hutchison.
Elizabeth Newman said:
“It has been an incredibly challenging couple of years, but we are very excited about the future. After two years without performances indoors, reopening Pitlochry Festival Theatre with Sunshine on Leith feels like the perfect way to welcome audiences back inside. I’ve wanted to make Stephen Greenhorn’s fantastic Scottish musical (with many classics from The Proclaimers) for years. It is an uplifting, hopeful story about family, responsibility, and love. And the musical itself is the perfect blend of singing, drama, music, and dancing.
This will be a brand new production performed by an incredibly talented Ensemble of actor-musicians, and it’s being made by a brilliant creative team at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Capital Theatres. I am looking forward to co-directing with Ben Occhipinti, as both of us have greatly missed making memories with audiences. After everything that has happened, this wonderful musical offers us the chance to really celebrate life. It certainly feels like we’ve walked 500 miles to come back together, and I couldn’t think of a better song for us to be singing as we welcome people back indoors.
Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres said:
“We’re beyond excited to be co-producing Sunshine on Leith with Pitlochry Festival Theatre as the King’s final show before its transformational redevelopment and today we welcome our fantastic cast to visit theatre and take a wee tour around Leith. For Capital Theatres, producing this show expands on our ambition to be at the heart Scotland’s theatre community, developing Scottish talent – which this cast is brimming with. Sunshine on Leith will also be a fitting swan-song to The King’s as we know it, before it re-emerges as a re-invigorated world-class theatre and thriving community hub.“
Playwright Stephen Greenhorn said:
“I’m thrilled at the prospect of a new production of Sunshine on Leith at one of my favourite theatres. Pitlochry Festival Theatre has a fabulous history with musicals, and I can’t wait to see Elizabeth and her amazing team bring their magic to the show.“
Sunshine on Leith will open at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 20 May – 2 June and then transfer to the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh from the 7-18 June. The production will then return to Pitlochry from 24 June – 1 October.
Tickets for Sunshine on Leith are available from the box office on 01796 484626 or online at pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com