Smash-Hit Musical Sunshine On Leith At West Yorkshire Playhouse | Dance In The Aisles To Music From The Proclaimers | My Review From The Press Night!

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Set to the timeless songs of the 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 musical asks the question, would you walk 500 miles for love?

A West Yorkshire Playhouse production
Sunshine on Leith
Written by Stephen Greenhorn with songs by The Proclaimers
Directed by James Brining

Sunshine on Leith, Quarry Theatre
Fri 20 April – Sat 19 May 2018
Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online

Featuring classic songs from Scottish favourites The Proclaimers, this foot-stomping production written by the acclaimed Stephen Greenhorn and directed by Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining, will run at West Yorkshire Playhouse from Friday 20 April to Saturday 19 May ahead of a major UK tour.

Leading the cast are Steven Miller and Paul-James Corrigan, playing fellow servicemen and best friends Davy and Ally. Steven’s extensive theatre credits include the National Theatre of Scotland’s The James Plays and Frantic Assembly’s Othello while Paul is best known for his long-standing role as Stevie in Scottish drama River City.

Starring alongside them are Hull born Jocasta Almgill as Yvonne, with recent theatre credits including the award-winning In The Heights at the Kings Cross Theatre and leading roles in the West End’s Dream Girls, and Neshla Caplan joins the cast as Liz following recent roles in Arabian Nights at The Lyceum Edinburgh and the award-winning Adam for National Theatre of Scotland.

Phil McKee (VeraJekyll & Hyde, ITV) and Hilary Maclean (whose previous theatre work includes playing Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at Manchester Royal Exchange) will play husband and wife Rab and Jean, with Lorraine Graham (, Manchester International Festival/National Theatre) playing Hazel and Bradford born Nikki Patel playing Eilidh.

The cast is completed with Euan Bennet, Joel Burman, Tyler Collins, Richard Colvin, John McLarnon, Lorna McMillan, Matthew Malthouse, Emma Mullen, Sioned Saunders and Kara Swinney.


West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “Creating Sunshine on Leith over ten years ago was a joyful experience. It’s such an entertaining and emotionally charged musical, which explores ideas of home and identity, falling in love and picking up the pieces when it all falls apart. Now, back in my hometown of Leeds, those overarching themes of home and where you put down your roots are as important as ever, and it’s brilliant to be bringing this show back to life at the Playhouse with a fantastic new company. This will be the last big musical in the Quarry theatre before we undergo our major transformation of the building, and I’m hugely excited for audiences to share that with us.”

Originally a stage musical before being transformed in to the 2013 hit feature film adaptation starring Jane Horrocks and Peter MullanSunshine on Leith sees the return of servicemen Davy and Ally from war overseas to be confronted with civilian life filled with relationships, blind dates and commitments. 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.

My Review:

I absolutely loved this performance of Sunshine On Leith, I had no idea what it was about before going to see it which meant that I didn't have any other preconceived ideas about what it would be like. I actually thought it would be about The Proclaimers themselves and the story of how they came to be the superstar musicians we all know and love. How wrong I was because it was actually a play about two young lads coming home from war and adjusting to normal life. The music just adds to the whole story and comes along at just the right time to coincide with what's happening on stage at the time, just like all the best musicals! I couldn't help but tap my feet along to every song and I got very emotionally involved with the whole story line, I will not reveal too much just in case you go and see it yourself (which you absolutely should!) but there are lots of ups and downs as there are in life. I will say that it ends up happily with everyone's favourite song, '500 Miles' which had everybody on their feet, clapping and singing along!

I loved how the set moved so easily, the hospital reception featuring a hidden piano! The Iron Bru advertising for the bus stop was just brilliant props to Scotland's favourite drink! There were lots of jokes about Edinburgh and Scotland in general which if you know it well, will make you laugh out loud! The in jokes are brilliant and had everybody was having a great time! The on stage band hid themselves brilliantly and even joined in with the dancing, making a full ensemble and adding to the atmosphere on stage. I would highly recommened you going to see it if you love theatre, musicals and music by The Proclaimers! You'll not regret it!

West Yorkshire Playhouse has a reputation both nationally and internationally as a leading UK producing theatre. The theatre is a cultural hub, a place where people gather to tell and share stories and to engage in world class theatre. From large scale spectacle to intimate performance the Playhouse develops and makes work for the stage, found spaces, touring, schools and community venues. West Yorkshire Playhouse, through its award-winning Creative Engagement department, works with over 8,000 people aged 5 - 95 every year through a range of weekly workshops and exciting creative projects offering a wide range of opportunities and reaching out to a diverse range of communities.  Supporting new and emerging artists is key and the theatre provides creative space for new writers, directors and individual theatre makers to refine their practice through its Furnace programme.

The Playhouse’s Spring / Summer 2018 Season includes Still Alice, a new stage adaptation of Lisa Genova’s best-selling novel, produced in association with Michael Park for the Infinite Group. Every Third Minute: a festival of theatre, dementia and hope, the first festival of its kind curated by people living with dementia. Prescient political drama This House set in the engine rooms of Westminster in 1974 launches its national tour from the Playhouse, directed by Jeremy Herrin. The passionate account of Brian Clough’s ill-fated tenure as manager of Leeds United, The Damned United, a Playhouse and Red Ladder Theatre Company co-production, returns to the Playhouse ahead of a tour to community venues. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s classic drama Our Country’s Good transports the Playhouse to 1787 Australia, in a Nottingham Playhouse production in association with Ramps on the Moon. Set to a classic soundtrack by The Proclaimers, the life affirming musical Sunshine on Leith directed by Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining. The world premiere of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling thriller The Girl on the Train, produced in association with Simon Friend. Celebration of vibrant stories and people from our city, Searching for the Heart of Leeds is the final production in the Quarry Theatre. Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads closes the Courtyard Theatre, after touring to homes of local Leeds residents and community venues.
Follow the tour below and see if it's coming to a theatre near you! 


West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
20 April 2018 – 19 May 2018,
Press Night Thursday 26 April 2018

Box office 0113 213 7700
Book online

Kings Theatre Edinburgh
21 – 26 May 2018

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre
28 May - 2 June 2018

Coventry Belgrade
4 – 9 June 2018

Dundee Rep
11 – 16 June 2018

Glasgow Kings Theatre
18 – 23 June 2018

Inverness Eden Court Theatre
25 – 30 June 2018

Love, Sarah

*Tickets kindly gifted by West Yorkshire Playhouse in return for this review. Pictures kindly provided by Manuel Harlan. All reviews my own. 

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