Lyceum insist filmmaker Bill Forsyth welcome at world premiere of Local Hero

Matthew Pidgeon, Katrina Bryan and Damian Humbley
Matthew Pidgeon, Katrina Bryan and Damian Humbley
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PRODUCTIONS with the potential to become a landmark piece of theatre are few and far between, however, Local Hero, a co-production between the Royal Lyceum and The Old Vic gas the capacity to become just that.

A stage adaptation of the 1983 film, co-written by David Greig and Bill Forsyth, with new music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler, Local Hero is a wry comedy about a man who sets out to buy a beach, but ends up losing his heart to a village.

This week, however, Forsyth claimed to have been left in state of shock after being cut off from the project.

“It’s not a show I’ll be able to see,” Forsyth told a national newspaper.

“It is sad, but they tried to turn me into an editor - ‘turn up and you can have your little say, but you’re not going to be creatively involved’.”

The Royal Lyceum, however, still hope Forsyth will have a change of heart and attend the World Premiere next week.

A statement released by the Company to the Evening News stating, “It’s a real privilege to work with Bill on bringing his beloved story, Local Hero, to the stage.

“As Mark Knopfler developed a new score of 19 new songs, Bill Forsyth and David Greig worked closely together on several drafts of the script to ensure this transformation to the theatre retained the magic and essence of Bill’s film.

“As such, we are sad and surprised if he has felt in any way excluded from the creative process.

“A world class creative team, director, designers and musicians have been assembled to create the show, all with Bill and Mark’s approval.

“When a new stage show begins rehearsals, it is this team which forms and shapes it for the theatre. John Crowley, the director, and the whole team have always considered Bill’s voice to be central and integral. Without it, any telling of Local Hero would simply not be possible.

“Bill has been engaged with all script developments, and invited to attend each workshop, and to all key rehearsal dates.

“He has also received requests to take part in press interviews and appearances, visits to Pennan and Banff with cast and crew and of course, an invitation to dress rehearsals, previews and opening night.

“We sincerely hope Bill will be with us on opening night.

“The Lyceum and its partners would be so proud to share with him the experience of seeing his wonderful story in its new life on stage.”

Local Hero, Royal Lyceum, Grindley Street, 14 March-4 May, 7.30pm (matinees 2pm), £18-£68, 0131 248 4848