No Enemy to Coventry

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Playwright Geoff Thompson (left), Enemy frontman Tom Clarke and Belgrade artisitic director Hamish G

Remember Coventry's album-topping sensations of 2007?   

Former Finham Park schoolboy Tom Clarke and his band The Enemy turned into an overnight sensation with their debut album, We'll Live and Die in These Towns.

It went straight to number one in the UK Albums Chart and secured them a national tour. Even their follow up, Music for the People, hit the UK's number two spot.

Now the Belgrade Theatre have agreed to stage a new play penned by man Geoff Thompson - the local man who won a Bafta nomination in the "short film" category for his film Bouncers, starring Ray Winstone. 

He later wrote his rock musical Fragile, which did well at the Edinburgh Festival. 

 Geoff has been inspired to use the music from We'll Live and Die in These Towns as the backdrop for his bio-play about The Enemy, three young lads caught in the crossfire of fame and as bemused by it all as everybody else. 

Would the friends and ex-girlfriends referred to in this very personal music still be mates?

The Belgrade's artistic director Hamish Glenn admits he wasn't familiar with the output from Coventry's indie band - but after reading Geoff's script he said: "I snapped it up."

At a press launch held at The Empire in Far Gosford Street, Hamish joined Tom Clarke and Geoff to announce that casting is about to start with the aim of premiering the home-grown musical in the B2 auditorium between September 29 and October 20.

If the reviews are favourable the play could transfer into the main house or go off on tour.  

Tom, the creative spirit behind The Enemy has already agreed to help with the production.

 Geoff  says the authenticity of the lyrics to We'll Live and Die in These Towns soaked into his bloodstream as a backdrop to his morning exercise routine - he still keeps fit after once working as a club doorman himself.  It was the reason he could give such truth to the film Bouncers.

Indie rock bands are a slightly new departure but Geoff said:  "There is something about the poetry and truth of that first album - it's a very Coventry story but also a universal story. 

"After really listening  I  approached Tom and then Tom's manager to ask about using the songs on We'll Live and Die in These Towns as the music for my play."

At the press launch Tom explained that he doesn't feel remotely precious about somebody else being creative around his music.

He told reporters: "Once you've released an album to the public and gone on tour with it, they aren't really your songs anymore".


Elementary What's On is a fantastic website of previews and reviews from theatre in Coventry & Warwickshire. 




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