What do as an actor when the writer’s in the room… and you’re playing him? Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement’s new stage play Chasing Bono is based on I Was Bono’s Doppelganger, the memoir written by now-music critic Neil McCormick, who’s been closely involved in the production. Young Irish singer-songwriter Niall McNamee plays Neil onstage. Awkward? Watch our video interviews with both to find out. Time to get booking!
1970s Dublin. Friends Neil McCormick and Paul Hewson share the same ambition: to form bands and become global superstars. Paul changed his name to ‘Bono’ and his band became U2. Neil’s band never got off the ground.
1987. Dublin gangster Danny Machin wants a fair and balanced account written of his life whilst now-writer Neil is wondering where his went so wrong. Danny sees an opportunity and kidnaps him. Neil becomes Danny’s biographer. Danny becomes Neil’s shrink, probing the reasons for his succession of disastrous decisions.
Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Likely Lads, Porridge, The Commitments), Chasing Bono is a lovingly fictionalised account of music journalist, author, broadcaster and U2 biographer Neil McCormick’s 2005 memoir I was Bono’s doppelganger. The book also inspired the 2011 film Killing Bono.
The stage adaptation, directed by The Inbetweeners‘ Gordon Anderson, features Niall McNamee as Neil and Shane O’Regan as Bono, along with Niamh Bracken, Denis Conway, Farzana Dua Elahe, Donal Finn and Ciaran Dowd.
Chasing Bono runs from 6 December 2018 to 19 January 2019 at Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE. Performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.15pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are priced £11-27. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Watch: Neil McCormick
McCormick’s failure as a rock star has spawned a book, a film and now a play – its success is in many ways dedicated to those of us who will never achieve similar…
“More people have been near success than they’ve ever achieved. That’s the nature of success, it’s a pyramid. The guy at the top is supported by all the crumbling dreams of the people below. This [story] is for everybody at the bottom of the pyramid.”
Watch: Niall McNamee
As a singer-songwriter himself, Niall, who plays Neil, can certainly relate to some of the tough gig scenes. We’re not sure how far he’ll get, though, writing his own doppelganger memoir. The Incredibles?