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Good Vibrations movie team plans stage version

By Laura Abernethy

Published 11/01/2016

Richard Dormer and Michael Colgan in the film Good Vibrations
Richard Dormer and Michael Colgan in the film Good Vibrations
Terri Hooley

The story of punk legend Terri Hooley is set to storm the stage after the original film's critical success.

Good Vibrations was the movie telling the stories surrounding Hooley's famous shop in Belfast during the height of the Troubles, as music provided an alternative to the violence exploding across the city.

It was released in 2013 to widespread acclaim, and in 2014, the film - starring Lisburn actor Richard Dormer as Hooley - was nominated for a Bafta.

But next year, it will hit the stage. A play is being developed by the Lyric Theatre and Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry, who wrote the screenplay for the movie.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Patterson said: "Several people had mentioned [an adaptation] to Colin, and me, and the film's producers, but it was Jimmy Fay at the Lyric who was most enthusiastic and persuasive - not persuasive in the sense of having to talk us into it, but in the sense of how a stage production might work."

Patterson and Carberry are due to start work on the script shortly and hope the play will be ready to go next year. Although the film features some of the music made famous by Hooley and Good Vibrations throughout the 1970s, including Teenage Kicks by the Undertones, the stage version will not be a musical.

Fay, executive producer at the Belfast theatre, said he thought the show would be more of a "play with music".

He said: "Music is such a huge part of the story, the driving beat behind it. The whole sense I always got with the film was that music could have died, that music was taking a step back. And Terri was brilliant at saying, 'No, this is really important.'

"The whole punk ethos came in then, as opposed to the hippy thing of 'let's all love each other'. Actually instead let's use these punk dynamics, the violence, and channel it for something that's a bit more energetic. The film captures that really well."

Irish film Once, which features the music of Glen Hansard, was adapted as a stage musical in 2011 and has gone on to have worldwide success, with runs on Broadway and on the West End.

Despite the success of Once, Fay insisted the Good Vibrations production will not be similar to the award-winning musical. He said: "Once would obviously be an inspiration, but it wasn't my idea. I wasn't thinking, 'It's going to be a musical like Once.' It's totally different."

Belfast Telegraph

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