Creator of ‘The Wire’ pens musical based on the music of The Pogues

Commissioned by Druid Theatre in 2013, David Simon's script is now in the final stages, and is expected to open on Broadway

 

The creator of the hit US television drama The Wire has written a musical based around the music of The Pogues.

David Simon along with his wife, the crime novelist Laura Lippman, and writer George Pelecanos, have reached the “final script stage” of the project, according to the band’s Spider Stacy.

David Simon speaks onstage in February during 69th Writers Guild Awards in New York City. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty
David Simon speaks onstage in February during 69th Writers Guild Awards in New York City. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Set in an Irish pub in the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of 1990s New York, the musical will feature a number of ghosts and explore the early stages of gentrification in the area.

Stacy, who starred in Simon’s TV drama Treme, said the idea - which was first comissioned  in 2013 by Garry Hynes, Artistic Director  of the Druid Theatre following an introduction via the late Phil Chevron from The Pogues - has “taken a while”.

‘Long process’

“David’s had various TV projects which have obviously taken precedence because this is a long process,” he said. “We’re on the final script stage. It’s been drafted and redrafted, drafted and redrafted countless times.”

The musical would first appear on Broadway before hopefully crossing the Atlantic to the UK and Ireland, Stacy said.

He added it would be “nice” if himself or frontman Shane MacGowan could appear in the production, but said there were no plans to at this stage.

The band’s tin-whistle player and one-time frontman has been serving as a consultant on the project.

“It’s a bit intimidating. This is the guy who created The Wire and kind of knows what he's talking about,” he said.

In a statement, Garry Hynes commented: "We’re very much looking forward to taking the project to the next stage. It will be a departure for Druid to embark on a musical, so it’s something we’re really excited about."

- PA