Hit Show Smile Celebrating Dundee United’s Jim McLean Returns in Digital Form

Art and sport come together in Smile, the show from Dundee Rep that has at its centre Jim McLean, the former Dundee United manager. McLean held that manager’s job for  over 20 years during which the team won the Scottish League and reached the European Cup semi- final. It’s no wonder that McLean is a legend in the city!

When Smile was first performed in 2020 as part of Dundee Rep’s 80th anniversary season, the show went down a storm with local football fans who swelled audience numbers in the Rep’s lovely auditorium, some experiencing theatre for the first time.  The run was cut short because of the pandemic, but a version has been restaged and shot for film thanks to Rep Studios, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre’s new digital platform that aims to reach wider audiences with a season of theatre, dance, and music from Dundee. The platform provides employment for 84 Scottish based freelancers over 5 months and builds on last year’s digital output that employed 55 freelance artists and creatives.

Theatre and television writer Philip Differ creates the dialogue where McLean’s life is looked at from new angles and shows aspects of his personality that maybe the public didn’t know so well and aims to make audiences smile. The film version, that’s directed by Sally Reid, sees Dundee Rep Ensemble’s Barrie Hunter reprising his critically acclaimed role of McLean and is joined by Chris Alexander who plays Jimmy. A creative team made up of Designer Kenny Miller, Lighting Designer Lizzie Powell, Sound Designer Fiona Johnston and Dramaturg Finn Den Hertog promise a quality production.

Apart from Smile, Rep Studios’ first season includes the award winning musical Islander; two digital premieres from Scottish Dance Theatre; a fresh focus on music events and a new Mini Festival entitled This is for you Dundee,

Smile runs from 16th April to 16th May with tickets from £7.50.

Irene Brown

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