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Pacific star Marty McCann in the running to fill George Best’s boots

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Local boy Marty McCann

Local boy Marty McCann

Local boy Marty McCann

A young Belfast actor starring in the sequel to the multi award-winning series Band Of Brothers is in the running to play football legend George Best.

Marty McCann, from the west of the city, is one of three actors hoping to fill Bestie’s boots in this year’s massive musical Dancing Shoes — The George Best Story.

But the 26-year-old star of The Pacific — a huge fan of the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland icon — has to see off the opposition in the form of local Panto regular Aidan O’Neill and English actor and Best lookalike Rob Rees.

Marty, who also stars in the remake of the Clash Of The Titans alongside Liam Neeson, has been recalled to a second audition, which will take place in Belfast next week.

O’Neill and Rees will also audition for the part of Best again, in front of an illustrious panel made up of the play’s writers Martin Lynch, Marie Jones, JJ Gilmour and Pat Gribben, and director Peter Sheridan.

McCann was helping to promote the HBO Band Of Brothers 10-parter when he decided to try for the part of Best.

His first audition impressed the panel, who then invited him back for a second try.

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A spokesman for Dancing Shoes said: “Marty is a huge fan of Best’s — indeed all three are great football fans — so he decided to throw his hat into the ring, even though he has a busy schedule.

“We have three great contenders in Marty, Aidan and Rob, all of them bring something special to the mix. The person who gets the role will have to be able to act, sing and bear some resemblance to the man himself.

“But we are confident we will find our Best next week when the second round of auditions take place.”

Dancing Shoes — The George Best Story, tells of the turbulent life of the famous but flawed football genius.

The play was written by Lynch and Jones, with songwriters Gilmour and Gribben providing the music.

It will be directed by Peter Sheridan, who was behind the hit musical I, Keano and is a brother of award-winning director Jim Sheridan.

McCann, who also starred in the BBC drama Scapegoat and plays the U2 frontman in the movie Killing Bono, is being tipped for international success after landing a role in the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg production The Pacific.

He came to Spielberg’s attention via Lord Attenborough, when he starred in the 2007 film Closing The Ring.

McCann plays Corporal R V Bergin in The Pacific, which premiered in the US on March 14. It is currently showing on Sky Movies.

The Pacific focuses on the US Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific within the wider Pacific War and is a follow-up to the hugely successful Band Of Brothers, which starred Damian Lewis and Donnie Walberg.

Dancing Shoes, meanwhile, will run at the Grand Opera House in Belfast from July 28 to August 14, before showing in a number of other cities, including Dublin and Glasgow.


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