- 11 Jun 19
"It’s capturing the essence of the original – and then breaking into song," The Divine Comedy leader says in a major Hot Press interview
As part of a major interview in the current issue of Hot Press, Neil Hannon has revealed that the extremely eagerly-awaited Pope Ted: The Musical is nearing completion.
“We’re in workshop at the moment,” Neil says. “There’s endless revision. You think you’re finished… and then you’re not. Script-wise, there’s a beginning, a middle and an end, and mostly the songs are there. There are still a couple of scenes where I’ve tried five different songs and it never seems to work. Really irritating things, musicals, but you’ve gotta do them!
“It’s such a terrifically high bar,” he continues. “We’re walking many lines and it’s a bit of a tightrope. You have to have enough of the original vibe and characters for it to make sense to Father Ted fans, but you also have to take it far enough away that it functions in its own right and isn’t just an appendage to the original, which would be pointless. The actors are different, so that immediately sets it apart. It’s capturing the essence of the original – and then breaking into song again.”
Neil’s comments about (anti)social media have already gone viral thanks to a tweet yesterday from Radio Nova’s Dee Woods who enthuses: “I love Neil Hannon even more after the quote in Hot Press. And yes, I see the irony in tweeting about it!"
Dee was referring to the bit in which Mr. Hannon proffers: “Graham Linehan would always give it the hard sell to me. I’d say something remotely witty and he’d say, ‘See, that, put it on Twitter and you’ll have hundreds of thousands of people following you.’ And it was like, ‘I don’t want hundreds of thousands of people following me. I’m just saying it to you!’ The more we give of ourselves online, the less we’re able to function in the real world.”
There’s also lots about The Divine Comedy’s fabulous new album, Office Politics, which strays into Kraftwerk territory (hence the ‘Trans Europe National Express’ headline); his early workshyness; synthpop classics; robot rights; Manchester United’s woes; and, switching into Newsnight mode, dissident Republicanism in the North.
You can read the full Neil Hannon interview in the latest issue of Hot Press, which is out now. You can also order it online below: