Good Vibrations Adapted For The Stage

By Jo Green

The Lyric Theatre is set to present the world premiere of the stage musical version of the popular movie charting the life of Belfast punk legend Terri Hooley, Good Vibrations.

The 2013 film directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, scored by Belfast DJ David Holmes and written by Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry – who were nominated for Outstanding Debut at the 2014 BAFTAs and have here also written the stage version – follows Hooley as he pursues his love of the fledgling Belfast punk scene – a form of resistance against and defiance of the gloomy status quo – and struggles to promote local acts like Derry band The Undertones through his Good Vibrations record shop and music label.

Observer film critic Mark Kermode called Good Vibrations an “absolute humdinger with real heart and soul” and later described how he was twice moved to tears watching it, going on to call it the best movie of 2013. The stage version, which opens in September, should have similar emotional charge.

Terri is a radical, a rebel, an idealist and a diehard music lover who refuses to be beaten by the violence and prejudice of 1970s Belfast, preferring to immerse himself in a world of good vibes and punk tunes. While his friends take sides in the conflict or take up arms, he opens a record shop on the ‘most bombed half-mile in Europe’ and calls it, with characteristic humour, Good Vibrations. It becomes an oasis for misfits, hippies and punks amidst the darkest days of the Troubles.

The film recounts Terri’s moment of glory – when the BBC’s John Peel plays The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks not once but twice on his famed radio show, giving the band the kind of exposure Terri has passionately been fighting for.

Hooley’s punk music mission is a real triumph over the sectarian fighting and despair all around him and the stalwart east Belfast man has to move his shop every time it’s bombed in the surrounding mayhem – Terri’s positivity cannot be beaten and his love of punk sustains him when all else fails.

The musical stage adaptation of the film will retell Hooley’s unusual and uplifting life story as he leads a motley band of kids and punks on a journey to discover a new community, an alternative Ulster, in fact, defined not by bombs and bullets but by friendship, good vibrations and excellent punk records.

The production will open at the Lyric Theatre on September 1 and runs until September 30.

Good Vibrations runs at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, September 1-30. Visit www.lyrictheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 02890 381081

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