Billed as a “love story about everyday life in Scotland”, the new musical follows the highs and lows of soldiers Ally and Davy (Boyd) as they return from battle in Afghanistan and find that families and relationships at home are not all plain sailing.
Sunshine on Leith takes its title from the Proclaimers’ 1988 album and single of the same name. It has a book by screenwriter Stephen Greenhorn. After its 2007 premiere, it went on to win the TMA Award for Best Musical Production. It’s directed by Dundee’s artistic director James Brining, who now helms this restaging.
The Proclaimers burst onto the UK music scene with their first album This Is the Story and their TV debut, performing “Letter from America” on The Tube. Over the years their other hits, all sung in their distinctive Scottish accent, have included “I’m on My Way”, “Oh Jean”, “Sky Takes the Soul”, “Let’s Get Married”, “I’m Gonna Be” and the title song.
Sunshine on Leith features 21 Proclaimers’ songs, performed by a nine-piece band. Commenting on the show, Craig and Charlie Reid said: “We are very happy that a theatre company of the quality of Dundee Rep with its fantastic history are producing a musical featuring our music.”
In addition to Peter Jackson’s three Lord of the Rings blockbusters, Billy Boyd’s film credits include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. On stage, he has toured the UK in productions of Trainspotting, Widows, Caledonia Dreaming and The Ballad of Crazy Paola. In 2006 he performed in HOME:GLASGOW, the first-ever show for the National Theatre of Scotland, and in 2007 he appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in Uncommitted Crimes. No further casting has been announced.
Sunshine on Leith is designed by Neil Warmington, with musical direction by Hilary Brooks, choreography by Lizzie Gee and lighting by Oliver Fenwick. Following Dundee Rep, the production visits Inverness, Belfast, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Southampton, Dartford, Northampton and Oxford.