Sunshine on Leith, A Musical - March 2023

Sunshine on Leith, A Musical - March 2023

Shrewsbury Musical Theatre Company begins its 100 year anniversary celebrations with Sunshine on Leith – A Musical at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn.

The singalong musical with a soundtrack from world-renowned The Proclaimers, features the hit songs I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), Letter from America, Over and Done With and the emotive title track Sunshine on Leith.

It is both a funny and moving story about Davy and Ally, two soldiers from Leith, Edinburgh returning to their hometown after serving in war-torn countries, who are questioning what ‘home’ really means. Both struggle to adapt to life outside the Army and to deal with the everyday struggles of family, jobs and relationships.

This is a jubilant, heartfelt, foot-stomping, feel-good musical about the power of home, hearth, family and love. The show is a British audience favourite which is sure to delight with this Shropshire premiere.

The good news is, you won’t have to walk 500 miles to come and see it!

Principal Cast List

Davy - Finn Wilson

Ally - Scott Sutherland

Rab - Andrew Wright

Liz - Rebekah Baddeley

Yvonne - Jessica Knowles

Jean - Jilli Gray

Eilidh - Jess Hirst

Hazel - Jayne Garner

Busker/Barman - Kevin Sudlow

Instructor/Innis - Dan Wrench

Carl - Benjamin Webster

Show Review

Emotions were running rife at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn last night as SMTC began its 100 year anniversary celebrations with this gritty, heartfelt, feel-good musical, set in Edinburgh and featuring music from world-renowned The Proclaimers.

Members of Shrewsbury Musical Theatre Company performing Sunshine on Leith The Scottish theme began even before I reached my seat as the haunting sound of a lone bagpiper, dressed in full regalia, greeted audience members on the way in.

This tale of friendship, family, love and heartache has been beautifully pulled together by Director, Rik Pover-Shaw and is superbly performed by a cast all perfect for their roles.

The delivery of witty Scottish banter makes it all the more real and the Scottish accents make it clear the cast have gone the extra mile and taken on board guidance from Dialect Coach, Ronnie PoverShaw. Scott Sutherland and Finn Wilson give a convincing portrayal of squaddies and best mates, Ally and Davy, who face choices about the future after serving on a military campaign, and their strong vocal performances of songs such as ‘I’m On My Way’ and ‘Let’s Get Married’ have the audience rocking in the aisles from the start.

The character of Davy’s sister and Ally’s girlfriend, Liz, is portrayed by Becky Baddeley with humour and affection and her solo performances in such songs as ‘What Do You Do?’ and ‘Letter From America’ showcase another terrific voice. No-nonsense nurse, Yvonne, ably performed and sung by Jessica Knowles, shows her struggles to find her place living far from her English hometown. We meet Dad of the family, Rab, an ‘old-school-minded’ character played by Andrew Wright with wit and charm, and his heartfelt performance of ‘Oh Jean’ made me feel I was a guest at a real party, witnessing the true-to-life antics and facial expressions of embarrassed family members.

When Rab’s past comes back to haunt him we meet young Eilidh, played sensitively by Jess Hirst. Matriarch, Jean, is played by the very talented Jilli Gray. I really felt her hurt and anger on discovering Rab’s infidelity, then her fear of losing him as she sat by his hospital bedside and belted out the poignant lyrics of the song ‘Sunshine On Leith’.

The members of the multi-talented ensemble switch seamlessly between characters and I lost count of how many quick changes must have been going on in the wings. There are some equally amazing voices there, too. I imagine it must have been difficult to select principles at audition stage!

The urban, scaffold set with projected backdrops of Edinburgh, pub scenes, hospital waiting rooms, etc. were cleverly done and the very tight live orchestra, led by Musical Director, Brandon Corfield, is the perfect complement to this lively, foot-stomping production.

It was a lovely surprise to see the piper, Keith Wellings, reappear on-stage to add some additional authenticity to the production, alongside Shona Wright, who treats the audience to some trusty Scottish dancing!

Throughout every song there are notable harmonies, culminating in a momentous, whole-company, foot-stomping finale with ‘500 Miles’. Inevitably, this had the opening night audience clapping and singing along.

Written by Stephen Greenhorn, this vibrant, tear-jerker story of love, life-choices and heartbreak has great music, is honest, is balanced with humour and feels real.

Reviewed by Nick Gawthrop (Shropshire Live)

A selection of audience comments sent to us via our social media

It was a great show last night. We really enjoyed it x

Was brilliant opening nigh we really enjoyed it x

Congratulations! WOW what a fantastic show you must be so so proud, bravo xxxxx

OMG! Just home - what a show! I cried, I laughed, I danced, I sang, I whistled, cheered and clapped. Fantastic show!!!!! Well done to everyone involved.

Great show and great cast, We all had a great night.

Amazing opening night! Good luck for the rest of the shows.....

It wasnt until I looked the show up that I realised it was an amateur performance. I am truly amazed, it was amazing. I thought all the cast were Scottish!! You should be so proud of yourselves, all your hard work and rehearsals has paid off. I loved it, well done to everyone involved.

Had a fantastic afternoon watching show, hard to believe it was a amateur production. Everything about it was first rate! Good to meet ther cast too and find out about future productions! Excellent through and through and what an atmosphere at the end!!! Well done everyone concerned

WOW! WOW! WOW! What a fantastic show. All your hard work certaonly paid off. It was obivous the audience this afternoon enjoyed it as much as I did. Congratualtions to the Committee for choosing such a fab show. I was so proud of you all.

Fabulous show this afternoon, what incredible vocals and beautiful harmonies. Costumes, set design, accents, music all fist rate, wonderful piper should all be tremendously proud of your performances. Well done and thankyou.

Thankyou all for a wonderful evening. We didnt know quite what to expect when we arrived, but how we enjoyed the performances and the singing.  We are very much looking forward to your next production in November. Well done everyone involved. PS as a lass from Edinburgh, I can tell you the Scottish accents were extremely impressive!

Just wanted to say, me and my family came to watch Sunshine on Leith last night. Incredible! Outstanding cast. Loved every single minute and didnt want it to end! My Gran was Scottish and she would have been proud to watch it. Massive congratulations and well done to everyone! X

Phenomenal show, you were brilliant, you should all be so proud of yourselves. I was crying, laughing, and loved every minute of it. I could ahve stayed and watched it again!

Wonderful afternoon performance from SMTC, very moving performance with outstanding vocals from the entire cast, thanks so much, live theatre at its best.