Connecting the people of Yorkshire

Review: Sunshine on Leith at West Yorkshire Playhouse

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There’s no doubt that audiences were blown away by Stephen Greenhorn’s uplifting and joyous musical. The performance scene began informally with the actors blending in with the audience on the Shakespearean style stage at the Quarry Theatre. 

The opening scene was set in a traditional Scottish pub, with string instruments and piano accompanying light singing. The story follows two soldiers who have just returned home to Leith and are soon greeted with relationship and family drama. 

The transitions across scenes were cleverly done, mixing a combination of song, dance and lifting props to flow smoothly from one act to another which seamlessly took the audience across different scenes of pubs, hilltops and hospitals. Adding to the relaxed atmosphere of the set, the audience were given the opportunity to purchase their refreshments right from the set, as the stage transformed into a temporary bar during the interval.

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An excellent stage presence was created by the performers through combining flawless singing and acting; adding humour to the mix with obvious yet satisfying sit-com style jokes. Keeping up with the moving social climate, the musical has flourished since its first release in 2007 and now includes anecdotes about topical conversations including Kanye and Brexit. 

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It would have been difficult not to leave the performance with a smile on your face after a finale of audience participation of singing, clapping and dancing along to I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). This final act of infectious and energetic performing left the entire audience in standing ovation, with barely a single soul left sitting in their seat. 

Tickets are available from https://www.wyp.org.uk/events/sunshine-on-leith/

Credit - Review by Rebecca Midley ( Yorkshire Everyday Writer )

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