The Lyceum’s artistic director David Greig has written a serviceable adaptation that covers most of the story’s bases but lacks its romantic sweep, writes PATRICK MARMION.
Back then, the idea of the legendary Hollywood tough guy rocking up in the Highlands in a helicopter was out of this world. It made Forsyth’s story seem so much bigger and less parochial.
This genial new musical version of the film could do with some of that A-list stardust. The Lyceum’s artistic director David Greig has written a serviceable adaptation that covers most of the story’s bases but lacks its romantic sweep.
And even with songs by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, developing his original film score for the stage, John Crowley’s production feels a bit run-of-the-mill. Continue reading →
Bill Forsyth’s international hit film Local Hero had a massive impact on Aberdeenshire in the 1980s. As the brand new musical stage production enjoys its world premiere at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, we uncover some interesting local facts about the iconic film.
1. Real-life local hero appeared in Local Hero….
Harbourmaster Baden Gibson (pictured below) starred as an extra in Local Heroalongside Burt Lancaster and Peter Capaldi. Mr Gibson was harbourmaster for 40 years until he passed away at the age of 67 in November 2016. He spent his entire life in Pennan and became the village’s longest-standing resident, when his mother moved away. After being cast as an extra in the film, Baden campaigned for Pennan to be used in more TV and film productions. He is fondly remembered by locals, one said: “When you think of Pennan, you think of Baden. He did his best to give back wherever he could and he became Pennan’s Local Hero.”
2. Hollywood A-lister Michael Douglas didn’t – but he was desperate for a part!
Apparently Michael Douglas was so keen to take the lead role as Mac that he met writer/director Bill Forsyth in Los Angeles, and followed him to New York “as if he was passing through”, according to Local Hero producer, Iain Smith. Iain said in a previous interview: “Bill is a wonderful, Continue reading →
New staging brings the iconic 1983 movie’s themes and characters into sharper focus.
Review by David Kettle
“Cult” is probably an over-used adjective, especially when it comes to movies. But there’s undoubtedly something truly special about Bill Forsyth’s 1983 film – about a Texan oil executive on a mission to buy up a section of the Scottish coast for a vast new refinery, only to end up falling in love with the place – that makes it so warmly cherished by certain viewers.
Maybe it’s Local Hero’s disarming mix of laid-back whimsy and harder drama, its unapologetic sentimentality, its surreal eccentricity, its gentle humour. Or maybe it’s the movie’s ironic role-reversal, as villagers grow impatient to plunder their new-found wealth while the swaggering incomer grows ever more enraptured with the place. It’s a mix that’s undoubtedly helped by Mark Knopfler’s evocative original score, whose guitar theme “Going Home” alone can transport you straight back to the ramshackle charm of Ferness and its iconic phone box.
Joyce McMillan reviews Local Hero at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.
4 stars ****
A BIG SKY, a beach, a row of tiny houses along a harbour wall; and in the foreground, an old-fashioned red telephone box, glowing in the west highland dusk. Oh yes, it’s Local Hero – but this time not Bill Forsyth’s legendary 1983 film, but the brand new stage musical version, co-produced by the Old Vic in London and Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, which celebrated its joyful, touching and – in the end – highly emotional world premier at the Lyceum this weekend. Continue reading →