Captivate Theatre are regulars on the Edinburgh Fringe, often showcasing multiple productions from their base at Rose Street Theatre. This year, you’ll find them adorning one of the Fringe’s newest venues, the glorious Multistory in the NCP car park on Castle Terrace, with a single production, Stephen Greenhorn’s infectiously optimistic Sunshine on Leith.
If you’ve seen the film, the story will be at least half familiar. Davy and Ally are just home after serving in Afghanistan. Liz, his girlfriend, is delighted to see Ally and in a quest to share the happiness around, introduces Davy to her mate, Yvonne. No surprises for guessing what happens next. Alongside the trials and tribulations of the young lovers, we also meet Liz’s mum and dad, on the eve of their 30th wedding anniversary. It’s a somewhat formulaic plot but the ending is just bittersweet enough to get away with it.
This performance of the production is blighted with sound issues. Indoors, mics not working would’ve been no great shakes but on Castle Terrace, with the hubbub of Edinburgh jostling for your attention, even on a dry and not terribly windy day, it is problematic. A good portion of the dialogue is lost so if you don’t know the story, you may struggle to keep up. Sally Lyall‘s direction is brisk and the scene changes in particular, tightly choreographed. The group scenes lack finesse but pandemic restrictions have likely meant the cast haven’t had a whole lot of time to rehearse together.
The band is brilliant. Caitlin Morgan is a zippy Musical Director and the musical numbers are slick. Potentially the sound issues are also troubling the singers and some of the harmonies could be tighter. But Hazel Beattie‘s Should Have Been Loved is great fun and her heartfelt Sunshine on Leith is gently poignant. And the final outing, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) has the audience clapping and stamping along.
Tech issues aside, this amateur cast have bundles of enthusiasm. There won’t be many people braving a production with such a sizeable cast this Fringe. Here’s to a safe and enjoyable run.