Leader comment: Musical of Local Hero '˜will have to be good'

When Local Hero came out in 1983, it was global hit that put Scotland on the map.

The gentle, clever humour of writer-director Bill Forsyth, the evocative music of Mark Knopfler, the stunning scenery, pitch-perfect performances from a stellar cast, and the fairytale quality of the plot combined to make a film that genuinely and literally moved people.

The palpable sense of longing for the fictional village of Furness felt by Houston city slicker Mac on his return to the US spurred countless tourists from all over the world to get on plane and experience what Scotland was like for real.

The forthcoming production of a stage musical is unlikely to have a similar impact, but if it gets anywhere close to the magic of the film, it will be a runaway success.

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    Only Mark Knopfler could have provided the music for such a venture, given the success of the original soundtrack, and it is good that Forsyth – whose genius Scotland should perhaps celebrate more – is working with leading playwright David Greig on the script.

    After all, as Greig said, Local Hero did for while “almost define Scottishness” so “it will have to be good”.

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