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The Sun has set on Leith

After a week of the Hippodrome rocking to the beats of the Proclaimers it was time for the sun to set on Leith. This was a musical long in the making after originally been scheduled 7 years earlier! Unfortunately the Boxing Day floods of 2015 put an end to that plan! However, persevering as we do the Hippodrome finally got the chance this year to right that wrong, and what a week it was! The cast were amazing, the crew faultless and the audiences were going home happy. If you came along, thank you for your support and we hope you enjoyed the show. Below are just a few images of what was truly a magical week! 

To read the Noda review click below

Photography: Martin Ogden Photography

Sunshine on Leith is about to burst onto the Hippodrome stage. Set within the music of The Proclaimers, it’s the story of Davy and Ally as they leave the army and return home to Leith. This is a down to earth musical, telling everyday stories of folks with the same concerns as you and me: family life; love and work; the day-to-day ups and downs; home; health and where to find happiness.

It’s a vibrant, energetic show with such well known numbers as I’m On My Way, Life With You, Sunshine on Leith, and, of course, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Accompanied by our fabulous live band under the hand of Helen Clarkson, directed by Justine Sutcliffe and choreographed by Lisa Parker – this is a show you won’t want to miss. Book a ticket and you’ll be sitting on top of the world!

Meet some of our cast

John Spooner as Rab

Rab is dedicated to his children, Liz and Davy - even if he doesn't always know quite how to talk to them. He has been married to Jean for 40 years – you’d think there would be no secrets left……

John Spooner is playing Rab. He's been involved quite a bit at the Hipp in the last twenty or so years. Some of his great memories include playing Ratty in Wind in the Willows, Higgins in My Fair Lady and Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. John has also directed for us, plays such as Theft, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Tom's Midnight Garden. He says it's nice at the Hipp - full of creative, zany and decent folk!

Lou Whyte as Liz

Liz fell for her brother's best friend Ally years ago. Now he's home from the army wanting to take the next step. But Liz isn't sure she's ready to settle down - the world's a big place...

Liz is played by Lou Whyte, who played Dolly Parton's 'Double D' Doralee Rhodes in Nine to Five in 2017. She says she has been lucky enough to be let loose on a number of roles over the years in Bradford and Halifax. Some of her standout moments have been as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Millie in Thoroughlt Modern Millie, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Rita in Made in Dagenham.

Alex Townend as Yvonne

Working as a nurse in Leith, Yvonne is miles from her English hometown. She's met a few Scottish men - and she's not sure they're for her. But Liz sets her up on a blind date with her brother Davy - will he be like all the rest of the young men she's come across?

Yvonne is played by Alex Townend, who considers the Hippodrome to be her second home, having been a member for 30 years. She loves being a part of our theatre community and has been in most of the musicals in the last two decades. She performs and choreographs in Halifax and Rossendale but says Tod Hip is her home. One of Alex's proudest roles was as Eva Peron in Evita last year - and she can't wait to get back on stage.

Joe Marsden as Ally

Looking for a chance to settle down and make a new home life, we watch Davy and Ally as they navigate their relationships, now they're out of the Army. Friends for years, and dating Davy’s sister, Ally is very much a part of the Henshaw family – but he’d like to make that official, if Liz would only say yes!

Joe Marsden is back on stage as Ally - having last been seen as Passepartout in Around the World in 80 Days at Christmas. He joined the Hippodrome for West Side Story in 2019, having been "blown away" by Jesus Christ Superstar. He sometimes performs at the Curtain Theatre in Rochdale and can often be seen as his alter ego Hans Offmistein, fronting the popular Jagermaestros Oompah Band. He names singing Gee Officer Krupkee as one of his favourite moments at the Hip - so far!

Rick Whyte as Davy

Sunshine on Leith centres on the stories of Ally and Davy, two Leith lads that have just left the army. Davy is single, and fiercely Scottish, can an English girl really be the one to make his heart fly?

Davy is played by Rick Whyte who first joined us in 2014 and was last seen on the Hippodrome stage as Franklin Hart in Nine to Five (2017). Beyond Todmorden, he often performs in Halifax and Bradford. His favourite appearances in the last couple of years have been in Assassins, Kinky Boots and Blood Brothers.

Rachel Rogers as Jean

When Davy returns to Leith, he is immediately back in the care of his doting Mam, Jean. Hard-working, devoted and straight-forward, Jean has devoted the last 40 years to her family.

Jean is played by Rachel who became a part of the Hippodrome family in 1995, joining the production team for HYT. She has been in many plays and musicals here and elsewhere. Her favourite role was playing in LV in the Rise and Fall of Little Voice. As a director, she lists Mack and Mabel and The Vicar of Dibley as her special shows. Twice in her time with us, Rachel has stepped in to cover for someone else - once learning her role in three weeks, the other time in just three days!

About the show

Sunshine on Leith follows the highs and lows of Ally and his friend Davy as they search for nomality after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. Families, friendships and life are not all plain sailing in this funny and moving story about love and life.

Ally's marriage proposal is rejected by his childhood sweetheart, a nurse disillusioned with the part-privatised NHS, moves to the US to seek career fulfilment instead. Meanwhile, Davy gets a job in a call centre while his parents war over the discovery, years on, of father's infidelity.

Sunshine on Leith is a vibrant, energetic piece of musical theatre, loved by audiences and critics alike which had a successful film adaptation released in 2013 starring Jane Horrocks.

TAODS is proud to present this fantastic musical! Tickets have been selling well so book early to avoid disappointment!

Cast Announced!

We are delighted to be able to announce the cast for our April 2023 musical Sunshine of Leith! 

Davy - Rick Whyte

Ally - Joe Marsden

Liz - Lou Whyte

Yvonne - Alexandra Townend

Rab - John Spooner

Jean - Rachel Rogers


Abi, Lally, Amelia Gregory, Corey Whitehead, Dawn Rowe, Emma Cook, Hannah Butler, Hannah, Sutcliffe, Helena Micklethwaite, Jim Rowe, Joel Brown, Karen Shepherd, Kate Foster, Lewis Edwards, Lisa Clayton, Lucy Marshall, Melissa Barker, Rhys Roberts, Rosie Crowther, Rosie Hodson, Rowena Green, Rowena Starr, Sam Garforth, Sharon Brown, Starr Eames, Steven Hooper.

Congratulations to all!

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