Mark Knopfler Writing Music for ‘Local Hero’ Musical

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The poster for the 1983 film version of Local Hero

The 1983 Scottish comedy-drama film Local Hero is being revived as a stage musical, with its premiere set for Edinburgh, Scotland, in the spring of 2019. As in the film, the music for the new production will be composed by Mark Knopfler, the former leader of Dire Straits.

Related: Coverage of Dire Straits’ induction into the Rock Hall’s Class of 2018

The book for the musical is being written by David Greig, director of the Royal Lyceum (where the show will premiere), and Bill Forsyth, who directed the film, which starred Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert. Forsyth won a BAFTA for best direction.

The stage adaptation will be produced by Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre and London’s Old Vic. Following the Lyceum premiere it will move to the Old Vic.

Fans are being given the opportunity to purchase tickets for the Local Hero musical 24 hours before they go on sale to the general public: for the Royal Lyceum, on April 30; for the Old Vic, from June 25. A special booking code will be required to take part in this pre-sale. Fans can receive the ticket offer by joining the mailing list here and checking the box beside “Local Hero.”

The story of Local Hero centers around an American oil company representative sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and the surrounding property for his company.

Mark Knopfler

Greig, whose musical theatre credits also include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London’s West End, was quoted in a news report on as saying, “Local Hero is one of those great Scottish stories that has captured the imaginations of people across the world, it has been one of my favorite films since I first saw it as a teenager. To have the chance to revisit these wonderful characters to help create a musical is an absolute delight.”

Old Vic artistic director Matthew Warchus says in the same article that he has “watched and rewatched” Local Hero many times. He describes it as “the perfect mixture of situation comedy and romance, combined with a strong and important message.”

Related: The story behind Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing”

Knopfler has written new material for the musical. It is unknown at this time whether he will also rework any of the songs from the film. Gerry Rafferty provided the vocals for “The Way It Always Starts” on the soundtrack.

Watch Mark Knopfler perform “Wild Theme” from Local Hero in 1997

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