Sunshine on Leith | DVD review – Rousingly feelgood musical inspired by the songs of The Proclaimers

SUNSHINE_ON_LEITH_DVD_3DA rousingly feelgood Edinburgh-set musical inspired by the songs of Scottish folk-rock duo The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith quickly got dubbed McMamma Mia.

And, yes, it does follow the jukebox-musical template laid down by the Abba show and film as it weaves 13 Proclaimers numbers into a narrative in which couples from different generations fall in and out of love.

And, yes, there’s something undeniably contrived and sentimental about the story cooked up by screenwriter Stephen Greenhorn, here adapting his Dundee Rep stage show, in which British squaddies Davy (George McKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie), newly returned from Afghanistan, struggle to sustain their relationships with nurses Yvonne (Misfits’ Antonia Thomas) and Liz (Skins’ Freya Mavor), while Liz and Davy’s parents (Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks) wrestle with marital difficulties of their own.

Yet, despite the low-budget-defying gloss provided by actor turned director Dexter Fletcher (Edinburgh really does look fabulous), the gritty honesty of the Reid brothers’ songs remains intact and the superb cast give their stirring singalong anthems – including ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, ‘Letter from America’ and the heartfelt title song – real emotional clout.


Released on Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 27th January by Entertainment In Video.


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