David Simon, creator of the TV series The Wire and Treme, has reportedly finished the first draft of a musical based on the music of British-bred Irish rockers the Pogues. He has been working on the production with the understanding it will be produced by the Irish theater company the Druid. According to the Dublin-based newspaper Evening Herald, which broke the news, it “will take years” before Simon’s script is ready for staging.
Reportedly, Simon had been working on the musical with the raucous rockers’ guitarist Philip Chevron, who died of cancer in October. Previously, Chevron had been working on his own musical, about an Irish-American boxer, Jack Rooney in Person, though it was not produced, due to underfunding. The Simon production’s plot has not yet been revealed.
Over the years, Simon has done little to hide his love of the band. He used the group’s “Body of an American” in three different episodes of The Wire, blaring the scrappy 1986 pub-rocker in the alcohol-fueled “wake” scenes set in an Irish bar that the show’s cops frequented. The series also used the band’s songs “Transmetropolitan” and “Sally MacLennane.” And in Treme, the Pogues’ Spider Stacy played an English street musician named James “Slim Jim” Lynch in the second season of the New Orleans-based drama.
In the comments section of a recent post on David Simon’s website, the Wire creator extolled the Pogues and their frontman, Shane MacGowan. “[I]love them hard,” he wrote. “[I] consider MacGowan to be among the great lyricists and storytellers of our time, and the band to be the perfect ensemble for a remarkable synthesis of Irish traditional and rock ‘n’ roll.” He also added, hinting at the musical, “[I] am working with them on a particular project, in fact.”