Good Vibrations hits the Lyric Stage in September
The Lyric Theatre has just announced that as part of its 50th anniversary programme and to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Good Vibrations, the story of influential music promoter, producer and legendary founder of the record label – the undisputed Godfather of Belfast Punk, Terri Hooley – will be brought to the stage.
Good Vibrations is written by Colin Carberry and Glenn Patterson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, and tells the story of Terri Hooley, a radical, rebel and music-lover in 1970s Belfast when the conflict shuts down his city. As all his friends take sides and take up arms, Terri opens a record shop on ‘the most bombed half-mile in Europe’ and calls it Good Vibrations. Through it he discovers a compelling voice of resistance in the city's underground punk scenes. Galvanising the young musicians into action, he becomes the unlikely leader of a motley band of kids and punks who join him in his mission to create a new community, an alternative Ulster, to bring his city back to life. The show takes us from the heights of working with John Peel and bands such as The Undertones, to volatile encounters with the mainstream music industry, all the while showing Terri’s tireless commitment to local bands and music. ‘Teenage Kicks’ was the first record in the history of BBC radio to be played twice in a row and it would remain John Peel’s all-time favourite – a legacy that it is now Belfast’s ‘National Anthem.’ Good Vibrations underlines the communal spirit of these bands that gather up behind the record shop owner who won't say no. It celebrates energy, ideas, optimism, self-worth, and the empowerment of punk rock.
Executive Producer of the Lyric, Jimmy Fay, commented:
“The legend of Terri Hooley and his shop Good Vibrations is one of the great folk-tales of Belfast. How the sheer raw energy of soul / punk / do-it-yourself music can transform your current reality and bring all that’s mighty and great about your imagination and spirit into your everyday existence. Belfast has always had this independence of spirit, this challenge to conformity and celebration of dark humour. Good Vibrations was an iconic record shop, a superb movie and it’s a tale that still needs to be told. It belongs on the stage in all its rip-roaring rage and fury and anarchic humour. We at the Lyric are delighted to present this on our stage bringing it all back home to Belfast.”
It has been adapted for the stage by the team who co-wrote the Good Vibrations biopic - Colin Carberry and Glenn Patterson - for which the pair were nominated for Outstanding Debut at the 2014 BAFTA Film awards. They had previously won Best Script at the 2013 Irish Writers Guild Awards, Best Script at the 2012 Dinard British Film Festival and they were nominated for Best First Script of 2013 by the Writers Guild of Great Britain.
Glenn Patterson commented:
“Good Vibrations was born out of love of the power of music and its vitality, and the attraction of the stage is that you get this in the raw - the power of live music. We see the stage as a place that offers new possibilities and a chance to capture the theatrical excitement, the immediacy, and show this in its full potential. I feel even more so in 2018 than in 2013 that it’s a story of great relevance. It is the story of Terri’s life, shop, label, but much more - it’s about a way of life. The time and climate are right to celebrate all the things for which Terri stood – they are all the qualities you want to embrace.”
Good Vibrations will be directed by Belfast’s Des Kennedy, who has directed in Belfast, Dublin and is currently the International Associate Director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on both the Broadway and Australian productions. Des’s directing credits include Gulliver’s Travels and White Star of the North at the Lyric and Associate Director of Once: The Musical.
Colin Carberry commented:
"It’s great to be able to work again on Good Vibrations. Noisy stages and big nights out are at the heart of many of Terri’s best yarns – so what better way to mark the Lyric’s 50th and Good Vibes’ 40th than with a month full of them this September? Terri’s story, and that of Northern punk, celebrates unity, defiance, creativity and cheek. The film fed off these values. We’re confident the play will too."
Terri Hooley commented:
“I’m thrilled that the 40th Anniversary will be celebrated by the Lyric Theatre and delighted that a Belfast team of writers, directors and producers will be bringing Good Vibrations to new audiences. I’m very proud that we opened up nightlife in Belfast when the city centre was a no-go area for many people. It didn’t matter if you had green hair or orange hair, it mattered if you were a punk. They were my heroes.”