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Chasing Bono - Soho Theatre

The cast of Chasing Bono

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CHASING Bono, a rock ‘n’ roll fable about the pursuit of fame and coming to terms with failed ambition, runs at Soho Theatre from Thursday, December 6, 2018 to Saturday January 19, 2019.

Chasing Bono is a new play by Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement based on I Was Bono’s Doppelganger by Neil McCormick, a wise and witty memoir which recounted his friendship and rivalry with his school friend and Superstar Bono.

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.

The cast includes Niamh Bracken (Gwen in Sunny Afternoon, West End), Denis Conway (last seen in the West End in The Lieutenant of Inishmore opposite Aidan Turner), Ciarán Dowd (Irish comedian, actor and writer and winner of the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer), Farzana Dua Elahe (best known as Parveen Abbasi in EastEnders), Donal Finn (winner of the Sir Alec Guinness Award 2018, making his professional debut), Niall McNamee (First Light, Chichester Festival Theatre) and Shane O’Regan (Private Peaceful – Irish Times Theatre Awards nomination Best Actor, 2017).

Chasing Bono is directed by BAFTA nominated, award-winning British theatre and television director, and Soho Theatre Artistic Associate Director Gordon Anderson (The Catherine Tate Show, The Inbetweeners, Shameless, Fresh Meat, Lovesick). Design is by Max Dorey, with lighting by Christopher Nairne. Casting director is Orla O’Connor.

Chasing Bono is produced by Sally Humphreys Productions and Covent Garden Productions.

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have enjoyed a unique creative partnership in television, movies and theatre. Their career began in British television where they created several iconic series including The Likely Lads, Porridge, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Lovejoy. They have written many feature films including Otley, Villain, The Commitments, for which they won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and Still Crazy, which won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.

They spent four years as writers and supervising producers with Tracy Ullman on HBO’s multi-Emmy award winning series, Tracy Takes On and worked extensively on The Rock and Pearl Harbor, for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

In the last few years they returned to television with Archangel, starring Daniel Craig and Spies of Warsaw with David Tennant. Four feature films were produced in completely diverse genres: a sports film, Goal! The Dream Begins, an animated movie, Flushed Away, a heist movie, The Bank Job and a musical, Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor and nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Picture, Musical or Comedy).

Their most recent film is My Generation, presented by Sir Michael Caine, released earlier this year. Apart from Chasing Bono, they have several other theatrical ventures in the pipeline including their recent rock musical, Jukebox Hero.

Tickets: From £11 (prices are subject to demand, so book early to guarantee the best seats at the best price. To book, call the box office on 020 7478 0100 or visit

Times: Evening performances at 7.15pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Also at Soho Theatre: Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse (January 28 to February 2) and Paul Mayhew-Archer: Incurable Optimist (March 19 to March 23, 2019).