When you get shivers the moment the ‘curtain is raised’, you know something special is about to happen.
Leven Amateur Musical Association (LAMA) achieved exactly that with Fife’s premiere of the highly acclaimed musical ‘Sunshine on Leith’, written by Stephen Greenhorn and featuring the music of The Proclaimers.
With the plot beginning in Afghanistan, the haunting ‘Sky Takes the Soul’ captivated the audience, and thus began the roller coaster of emotions of this open hearted, raw and emotive musical. From poignant to gloriously bright and cheerful, the show quickly took a turn towards the ‘sunshine’, immediately injecting laughter and happiness.
The diverse array of characters were instantly likeable and brought a smile, testimony to the convincing portrayals of those playing the roles. Each principal is also to be praised for the strength and tenderness of their vocal performances.
Ally and Davy, played by Andrew Doig and Callum Stott, complemented each other, portraying both their playful brotherly friendship and at times touching and moving scenes.
Similarly, Liz and Yvonne played, by Gillian Hewitt and Katy Holligan, captured a sisterly interpretation of their roles. They displayed great comic timing and the ability to present heartrending scenes with ease.
Karen Richards, who played Jean, gave a heartfelt rendition of Sunshine on Leith and captivated motherly love throughout the performance.
Thom Hughes, a new member, captured the character of Rab effortlessly and moved the audience to tears, both of happiness and sadness, on more than one occasion.
LAMA is renowned for its history of strong, talented and dedicated members. Although this show did not present many opportunities for the chorus to be on stage at once, when it did allow, the striking vocals and superb harmonies were, as always, a joy to listen to.
Superbly choreographed numbers such as Should Have Been Loved and I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) were enthralling to watch. As were the comic scenes Let’s Get Married, Throw The “R” Away, which again, had the audience in tears of laughter.
The stalwart cast was joyfully enhanced with a refreshing presence of new members, many of whom began their theatre experience as members of LAMA Youth. It is uplifting to know that the future of musical theatre in Fife is being so ably encouraged and nurtured.
The hugely talented production team; duo, Fiona Gallacher Stewart and Peter Holligan with assistants Laurence Crowe and Charles Small, and the stage manager, Duncan Milne must all be infinitely proud of the loyal and committed company, on stage and off, who have staged another wonderful production.
And so, as the show began, sending shivers through the audience, it ended in a similar manner, with bagpipes (played by Kirstin Walker), resounding throughout the auditorium and finally with the entire cast on stage and dispersed throughout the crowd. The majority of the audience gave a standing ovation and sang and danced along to ‘500 Miles’ and a much anticipated encore of Life With You.
Well done LAMA, for another outstanding show, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating another Fife premiere of ‘Made in Dagenham, The Musical’.