Sunshine on Leith

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The sun comes out

Image of Sunshine on Leith

Showing @ Festival Theatre until Sat 16

“What do you do when democracy fails you?” As Scots we understand the strange relationship between UK politics and our everyday lives. The tug of war for our affections, between Holyrood and Westminster, has become apparent since the last election but do we care enough to really make a change to our own lives? This week the sunshine is put back on to Leith as Stephen Greeenhorn’s musical returns to bring us some local banter and remind us that love, loss and politics aren’t as far away from our front door as we can be led to believe.

Davy (Billy Boyd) and Ally (Michael Moreland) return from the army to Leith (not Edinburgh there’s a difference) and this time they are home for good. Unfortunately normal life, working in a call centre, isn’t as easy as they had imagined. Davy’s parents Rab (John Buck) and Jean (Ann Louise Ross) are having problems and to top it all off his sister, Ally’s Girlfriend Liz (Jo Freer) , has unfulfilled ambitions of her own that will affect them all.

The musical arrangement by Hilary Brooks is emotionally engaging despite the fact that the plot seems somewhat compromised to fit the songs. There are real issues at the heart of the piece and it works on two levels, one is an entertaining frivolous musical set in familiar surroundings and the other a heartbreaking story of people like us who have lost their direction. The cast are a strong unit resulting in energetic chorus numbers and solos that are enough to make even the cold hearted amongst us blubber like a child. It’s the type of show that makes us question where we are going in life and the fact that it is so close to home really packs a hard fisted punch. Can we make a change for the better in our personal lives and the wider world? The production will make you leave with a smile on your face and a song or two in your head but the underlying message that we do have a choice in life will stay around for longer. “next time she might vote, so might the others, but times running out pal cause they’re given up in numbers.”