Sunshine on Leith
Michael Cox catches the latest success to take pop tunes and give them a story.
Sunshine on Leith, Dundee Rep’s musical that uses the tunes of The Proclaimers, is back. Musical Director Hilary Brooks says that Sunshine differs from the other ‘jukebox musicals’ in that the story comes first. Rather than letting songs dictate action, the numbers either further the story or heighten the drama.
Brooks admires Craig and Charlie Reid and the freedom they gave the writers to re-interpret the songs. Unlike most acts, they have had no say in how the songs are used but instead gave full support to the project.
Brooks’ concern was to allow the songs to work for the cast but maintain their ‘original integrity’. These songs were tailored to the Reid brothers’ voices: she adapted them for actors with vocal ranges different to the originals.
There have been rewrites since last year: the chief change was the addition of recent hit Life with You. Brooks called the new song ‘a blessing’, as it works perfectly in the second half of the story.
With the musical back on its feet, Brooks returns her attention to her favourite aspect: the musicians. “It’s the icing on the cake,” Brooks says of working again with her nine handpicked musicians. She is currently in the middle of producing the official soundtrack.
Brooks hopes the production has an international life, as The Proclaimers have a fan base around the world. As for now, Brooks is enjoying her return to Leith. “And cross your fingers that people will think it’s a great night’s entertainment.”
Fri 5 Dec - Sat 3 Jan 2009: no performances on Sundays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Matinees: 2.30pm 6,11,13,18, 20, 24, 26, 27, 31 December 2008 & 2,3 January 2009