NEW dates and a star-studded cast have been announced for the world premiere of the Royal Lyceum’s stage adaptation of Local Hero.
Children’s telly favourite Katrina Bryan and long-running star of The Bill Simon Rouse are just two of the popular television faces set to appear in the musical when it opens in March.
Based on Bill Forsyth’s 1983 film, demand for tickets for the production has been so great that the Grindlay Street theatre has been forced to extend the run of the show by an extra two weeks.
A wry comedy about a man who sets out to buy a beach, but ends up losing his heart to a village, Forsyth’s much-loved tale takes to the stage with new music and songs by Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler.
Opening on the 19 March, Local Hero was due to close on 20 April but will now run until Saturday 4 May.
“The response to Local Hero has been overwhelming and very exciting for all of us here at The Lyceum,” says producer Harriet Mackie.
“It’s a project that the company and our partners have been working on for several years now and we can’t wait to share the piece with the audiences of Edinburgh, Scotland and further afield.
“We’re delighted to be adding extra dates at this stage so more people can discover or rediscover a classic Scottish story from Bill Forsyth, David Greig and Mark Knopfler.”
Local hero follows the events which unfold when an American tycoon sends an executive, Mac, to a remote West Highland village to try to close a deal on a site for a new refinery.
Mac is gradually won over by the landscape and the locals, and appears increasingly drawn to Stella, who runs the local hotel with husband Gordon.
But Mac reluctantly leaves the village behind when his boss Happer arrives and decides to pull the plug on the refinery plan after meeting beach hermit Ben.
A co-production with The Old Vic, the musical boasts a strong cast led by CBeebies star Bryan, best known as Nina in the long-running science series Nina and the Neurons. Bryan will play Stella while Rouse, who played Jack Meadows in The Bill between 1990 and 2010, will play Happer.
They’ll be joined on stage by Damian Humbley as Mac, Matthew Pidgeon as Gordon, Julian Forsyth as Ben, Adam Pearce as Viktor, Emmanuel Kojo as Reverend Murdo and Scott Ainslie, Olivier-winner Caroline Deyga, Helen Logan and John McLarnon as Ownie, Punk Girl, Netta, and Iain.
The cast is completed by Matthew Malthouse, Suzie McAdam, Joanne McGuinness and Wendy Somerville.
Lyceum Artistic Director David Grieg says, “I’m delighted with our Local Hero company. They’re such a gorgeous blend of Scottish singing voices, Bill Forsythian comedy, and romantic ache.
“It’s been a thrill to spend the first week in rehearsals, hearing the songs and scenes start to take shape.”
The new additional dates will go on sale on Monday 21 January, priced from £10 to £68.