Over three nights during the last week of term, Clyde Valley High took its audiences to the streets of Edinburgh, for the school’s production of the popular, modern musical ‘Sunshine on Leith’.
The show tells the story of two young men, Davy and Ally, who after active service in Afghanistan, return home to “sunny Leith”. The boys, desperate for normality and something to give their lives meaning, return with complex hopes and fears for the future. Ally is reunited with his girlfriend, Liz, Davy’s sister. Davy is acquainted with Liz’s friend, Yvonne, and they strike up a romantic relationship. Ally informs Davy that he intends to propose to Liz at the anniversary party to be held in honour of Rab and Jean, parents of Davy and Liz. For more pictures Click Here
Yvonne and Davy’s relationship also looks like it will not survive but Davy, makes a final attempt to show Yvonne how much she means to him and declares his unconditional love for her.
Aaron McArthur was a masterful Davy, playing the lead role with absolute assuredness. Aaron brilliantly captured the agony and ecstasy of Davy’s journey and led the audience through the peaks and troughs of his emotional rollercoaster ride to happiness with his new love.
Donald Hannah, as the other lead, was simply breath-taking as Ally, a committed and passionate young man. Donald’s emotive performance had the audience completed enthralled for the duration of the show.
Aaron and Donald both demonstrated a remarkably mature ability to move the audience through their singing, with their solos and duets totally convincing. The chemistry between the two leads was so strong the audience reacted with tangible sadness and happiness.
A group of very talented principals provided wonderful support to the leads. Bethany Murfin, as Yvonne, was both convincing and moving. She beautifully captured the intensity of her love for Davy, and the doubts she had about entering into a serious relationship with him.
Katy Ramage played the independent and headstrong Liz, who broke Ally’s heart in favour of following her dreams of a life beyond Edinburgh. Katy silenced the audience with her beautiful and poignant performance of ‘What Do You Do?’ a number that demonstrated her anguish and turmoil about the decisions she would make in life.
Sam Carty starred as Rab, the quiet and unassuming father, who had to convince his wife of his love and devotion. Sam, was a crowd favourite, especially when dressed in his flowery apron, pink fluffy marigolds, and was dancing around the kitchen to Queen’s ‘I Want to Break Free’.
Lucy Rankine, gave a stunning performance of Jean, Rab’s wife. She beautifully captured her love and heartbreak and won the audience over with her emotive performance in ‘Hate my Love for You’ and the title song, ‘Sunshine on Leith’.
Anna Crichton, Niamh Speirs, Caitlin Smith, Callum Lachlan, Mark Bradshaw, and Calum Weir supported the leads further, in their various different roles, throughout the show.
A chorus of almost 50 other young people brilliantly supported the lead characters. Each and every member of the chorus contributed so much to the success of the show, their energy and charisma shining through. The Chorus: Lucy Dunning, Emma King, Ellie McCallum, Abby McCulloch, Ellie McGlone, Rachel Murray, Brooke Struthers, Hannah Devine, Laura Douglas, Elizabeth Hendrie, Caitlin Jeffrey, Iona Orr, Lucy Whitehead, Nicole Busby, Billie Davie, Kayleigh Hart, Katelyn Kenmuir, Ailiesh McInnes, Paige McLelland, Amy McLeod, Lisa Megahy, Stuart Murphy, Rebecca Gault, Catriona Johnston, Raina Owens, Klaudia Pluta, Jordan Yates, Louise Arthur, Holly MacDonald, Emma McKechnie, Claire Megahy, Hannah Muircroft, Kirsten Paterson and Morgan Shillady.
Miss Claire Douglas’s impressive choreography beautifully channelled the infectious energy and impressive talent of the entire cast. The imaginative sets, linked with the costumes helped create the atmosphere of life in Edinburgh. The lighting and special effects by Mr Andrew Keating and his team of S6 pupils, matched any professional production. And, the Clyde Valley band simply held the production together.
Much of the credit for the success of the show lay with the Production Team. Mrs Debbie Taylor and Mrs Stefanie Chalmers worked tirelessly over many weeks with the chorus and the principals. The creative Stage Direction of Mrs Valerie Livingston delivered a wonderful show.
Mrs Anne Traynor, as Musical Director, masterminded a show that clearly demonstrated the enormous musical talent in the school.