Sunshine in St Monans
Now, a musical with the music of Abba? Great idea, now how about the music of Queen? Oh yes and maybe even Meat Loaf? All feasible but when it was pitched as the music of The Proclaimers, I bet the executives struggled to name more than one song. However, Stephen Greenhorn, the creator of TV’s River City saw the potential and in 2007 produced Sunshine On Leith with Dundee Rep only to win a TMA Award for best musical. Since then, we had the movie in 2013 and the release to amateur companies making the show even more accessible.
Enter ADAMS, the Anstruther Drama and Musical Society in their 83rd year who had the ambition to stage such a multi-scene show but they did manage it with a degree of
professionalism. With the lack of local venues, the company opted for a huge barn of a place at Bowhouse bringing Sunshine to St Monans and what a place this is. Huge by any standards but still with a well-stocked bar and a lavish stage set with gantries of lights and stage spots to follow every aspect of this complex setting. From kitchen table to a Sports Bar in Leith, a supermarket to a hospital foyer they are all created by thoughtful costumes, dozens of extras for atmosphere and a flexible cast of leads who move effortlessly from scene to scene.
Credit here to the Apex Acoustics team from Dundee and Paul Smith for personally setting up the sound and light presentation and to Donna Reilly for the dance sequencies in a multi-layered space. Robert Nee was both Director and Musical Director served with a huge cast surrounding some talented well cast principals. The music numbers brought life to the story in all aspects from the very Scottish Throw The ‘R’ Away with supreme movement, Letter From America haunting and poignant, Sunshine On Leith truly heartbreaking before a rousing I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) which was as expected a full ensemble of dance, vocal and joyous finale with the 400 sold out audience clapping in unison.
The principals all work well together making the story believable. Fiona McCrudden as Jean with Amanda Bowman (Liz) and Rachel Nee as Yvonne were word (and song) perfect. Robert Wilson has returned to the stage after an absence and actually works on the Bowhouse Estate. As Rab he gave a mature performance and expanding the character could have a family show on his hands. The boys Davy (Andrew Doig) and Ally (Callum Stott) work well together both acting and in vocals and with costume changes and multiple emotions they took the show to the highest level. The Proclaimers would have approved this triumphant return to Fife.
October 26 – 30th, run ended