Highland theatre group brings The Proclaimers musical to Inverness
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Signing off in 2019 as a result of the pandemic, Starlight Musical Theatre returns to Eden Court in Inverness next week with their production of Sunshine on Leith.
An uplifting story of family, friendship and love utilising the songs of The Proclaimers, Liam MacAskill plays Davy, newly returned to Leith after a tour of duty as a soldier in Afghanistan.
“I have been lucky in my time, when I worked at Eden Court to see Sunshine on Leith three times,” he said. “The original by Dundee Rep; its return production a few years later, with Billy Boyd playing Davy; and most recently the West Yorkshire Playhouse version. All fantastic productions.”
“Scottish musicals seem to go down well up here, and certainly with me. It’s good to hear the music from such a well-known band portrayed in that way.”
A real fan then, and keen to get involved with the Starlight take on the show, he also auditioned for the role of Ally, Davy’s friend and fellow returning soldier, but is happy with how things turned out.
“He’s quite a serious character in places,” he says of Davy. “He’s not really ready for civilian live as much as (friend and fellow soldier) Ally and doesn’t know what he wants from that part of his life.
“His scenes with Ally in particular are good fun – both are jokers really and love a laugh.” The songs he gets to perform as Davy though, he says, were the clincher: “The harmonies are complex and certainly a test at the top end of my range but that’s what’s good about it, a different type of challenge.”
Contemplating his wider body of work he admits Sunshine on Leith, with its contemporary setting, doesn’t offer the most dazzling costumes, certainly not of the kind to challenge another theatrical outing.
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“When I played Shrek! that was a challenge and most outrageous costume I have ever had to wear,” he said. “Even though some people have said I wasn’t wearing a costume!”
“I have been very lucky to play some fantastic parts over the years – Shrek, Riff in Westside Story and the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors to name a few.”
Returning to Sunshine on Leith he pays tribute to “very patient” wife Fiona for helping him learn his lines, adding: “She’ll be sitting there whispering to herself ‘That line was wrong’ when it comes to show week!”
Of what audiences can look forward to he says: “I would look out for the fantastic talents of my fellow cast members. It’s not every day you get to share the stage with such brilliant singers, dancers and actors and do such an iconic show. ‘Throw the R Away’ is a fun song to be in as it involves some good humour, but without giving too much away the best bits are definitely some of the better-known songs with such beautiful harmony, led by our amazing MD Fiona Stuart.”
Sunshine on Leith is at Eden Court from Wednesday to Saturday, September 20-23.