NEWS: Musical version of Local Hero premieres in Edinburgh, transfers to Old Vic in 2019

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John Crowley will direct the world premiere of Local Hero, a stage adaptation of the 1983 film, co-written by David Greig and Bill Forsyth, with music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler. The premiere production, a collaboration between the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Old Vic, will run in Edinburgh 23 March to 20 April 2019, then transferring to London in June (opening date tbc) for a run to 31 August 2019.

The stage adaptation is co-written by the Lyceum’s Artistic Director David Greig and multi-award winning director and writer Bill Forsyth (who wrote and directed the screen original), with music and lyrics by acclaimed composer and Glasgow-born producer Mark Knopfler – founder of internationally celebrated band Dire Straits, whose album Brothers in Arms is one of the top 20 highest selling albums in UK history – and who has previously composed music for films including The Princess Bride, Wag the Dog and Comfort and Joy.

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Local Hero is a 1983 Scottish comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Produced by David Puttnam Local Hero centres on an American oil company representative who is sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company. The film starred Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay and Burt Lancaster and was produced by David Puttnam.

The stage musical is directed by John Crowley, with set and costumes by Scot Pask, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Arditti, video by Luke Halls, musical supervision by Dave Milligan and music direction by Phil Bateman. Casting is yet to be announced.

The Lyceum’s Artistic Director David Greig says:

“God, this is exciting! I’m thrilled The Lyceum will be working with a team of this calibre to make Local Hero. John Crowley is a director on top of his game. From The Pillowman to Brooklyn, he has shown himself a master of complex emotional material. I was recently privileged to see his production of The Present on Broadway with Cate Blanchett, and it was one of the defining experiences of my theatre-going life.

“Scott Pask is a visionary Stage Designer who is at home with an intimate play as he is with a huge Broadway musical. The Lyceum audience are in for a treat to see his work in our gorgeous theatre. Paul Arditti worked with me on the crazy, surreal soundscape of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Paule Constable has lit some of the most beautiful shows in London’s West End in recent years. Together with Luke Halls’ video work having pushed boundaries at the Paralympics and in Royal Opera House, we have a world-class creative team in whom to trust the legacy of Bill’s much-loved film.”

The Old Vic’s Artistic Director Matthew Warchus added: “It’s very exciting to see Bill Forsyth’s masterpiece entrusted to such a classy line-up of international creative talent.”

Bill Forsyth & David Greig at the Lyceum


John Crowley’s stage work includes The Present, Anton Chekhov’s Platonov adapted by Andrew Upton and starring Cate Blanchett; the London and Broadway runs of Martin McDonagh’s Tony-nominated The Pillowman starring David Tennant; McDonagh’s A Behanding in Spokane on Broadway starring Christopher Walken; the West End production of Love Song, starring Neve Campbell and Cillian Murphy, and the West End run of On An Average Day, starring Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan. He was Associate Director at the Donmar Warehouse. 

Crowley’s film work includes Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, Film Four’s Boy A, starring Andrew Garfield and the upcoming film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch starring Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Paulson. Crowley returns to The Lyceum having directed the 1993 production of The Master Builder starring Brian Cox.

The creative team further includes Tony Award-winning Set and Costume Designer Scott Pask, whose work includes The Pillowman, directed by John Crowley, The Coast of Utopia, The Book of Mormon and more recently Tina Fey’s Mean Girls and Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, starring Condola Rashad.

Lighting Designer Paule Constable is a National Theatre of Great Britain Associate who has won the Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design a record four times. Her work includes Follies, Angels in America, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and War Horse.

Tony and Olivier Award-winning Sound Designer Paul Arditti’s work includes Billy Elliot: The Musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Scottsboro Boys, King Charles III and Amadeus.

Video design will be by BAFTA-winning Luke Halls, whose work includes The Royal Opera House’s Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera’s Otello, and the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Ugly Lies The Bone, as well as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies, and video designs for tours by Adele, Beyoncé, Pet Shop Boys, U2 and Rihanna.

Music Supervisor Dave Milligan is an acclaimed jazz pianist and leading figure in the diverse Scottish music scene, having co-founded Unusual Suspects and worked extensively with Celtic Connections and Edinburgh Jazz Festival. Music Director Phil Bateman’s recent work includes Bob Marley musical One Love, Bugsy Malone, The Lorax, Billy Elliot: The Musical and Made in Dagenham, and he was Vocal Arranger on the films Kinky Boots and Cemetery Junction.

Local Hero is due to open at The Lyceum in Spring 2019 before transferring to The Old Vic. This production is generously supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and presented by special arrangement with Neal Street Productions and Patrick Daly of Caledonia Productions.

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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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