Magic Umbrella cast members reunite 20 years on

Lisa Kesson and Gary Clancy meet again. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

Lisa Kesson and Gary Clancy meet again. Picture: Andrew O'Brien

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IT was a film which offered a more gentle view of Edinburgh than its contemporary ­Trainspotting.

But the Magic Umbrella, which starred a group of Edinburgh schoolchildren, enjoyed its own, albeit smaller, success 20 years ago.

Grabs from 'the Magic Umbrella' a 'cult' classic filmed in Edinburgh in the late 80s, starring four children from Dalry. Picture: Supplied

Grabs from 'the Magic Umbrella' a 'cult' classic filmed in Edinburgh in the late 80s, starring four children from Dalry. Picture: Supplied

And just as the ­Trainspotting cast have been reunited, so too have the Magic Umbrella stars for a 20th anniversary screening after an appeal in the Evening News.

The child actors – many of whom now have children of their own – have been tracked down ahead of the event later this month.

The adventure story, directed by veteran independent filmmaker Ian Rintoul, follows four Dalry Primary School pupils sprinting across town to return an umbrella left at a St Bride’s Centre film show by an old man.

It provides a nostalgic glimpse into the life of the city, featuring well-known Edinburgh characters, pipe bands on Princes Street, the ­construction of the Edinburgh International Conference ­Centre and colourful Fringe acts. Producer George ­Williamson appealed for the child actors – now in their 30s – to get in touch through the News.

Then and now. Stars from'the Magic Umbrella will meet after 20 years. Picture:: Supplied

Then and now. Stars from'the Magic Umbrella will meet after 20 years. Picture:: Supplied

And all four of the main actors – Leanne Baigan, Gary Glancy, Nicola Campbell and Lisa Reid, now all in their 30s – have agreed to attend the special screening alongside ­others who appeared in the film.

Mr Williamson said: “After 20 years, I’m really excited to see the cast again.

“They are all grown up now and have ­children of their own.

“Regarding the film itself, I think it stands the test of time and it is still relevant now.

The film starred four children from Dalry. Picture: Supplied

The film starred four children from Dalry. Picture: Supplied

“It is quite a good historical document which is charmingly shot.

“It shows a more innocent side of life in the city than Trainspotting, which was released at around the same time.

“Since then it has been shown hundreds of times.”

Commended in the Jersey Film Festival, the 20-minute film was released in the same year as Trainspotting, though it cost just £200 to make and presents a more innocent take on community life.

The Magic Umbrella was shown hundreds of times across the city and in six different countries to become a cult classic.

Lisa Kesson, nee Reid – a 31-year-old civil servant and mother of two now living in Kirknewton – enjoyed the experience of being in the film as a youngster but decided that a career on the big screen wasn’t for her.

She said: “I am looking forward to going along on Friday with my children.

“My daughter Nicole is 11, the same age I was in the film.

“And looking at the photographs, she has noticed ­similarities in our appearance.

“I have some really strong memories of the filming even though it was 20 years ago.

“There was one scene on Victoria Street when I had to run up the hill and I remember it every time I pass.”

Ian Sinclair, who played the old man with the umbrella, died before the film was released and was one of several cast members who have passed away in the 20 years since the film was made.

The screening has also been arranged to coincide with ­Dalry’s Sharing Secrets Festival on June 13-19.

Tickets for the film have now sold out.