Sheridan's staged life story faces a rewrite

 

The rise and fall of Tommy Sheridan, the controversial Scottish politician, is to be turned into a "tragi-comedy" by the creator of Rab C Nesbitt.

But I, Tommy, which receives its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is facing a last-minute rewrite following the charging of Andy Coulson with perjury.

Des McLean plays the title role in Ian Pattison's drama, which examines the firebrand socialist's brief reign as Scotland's most popular politician and the MSP's hubristic fall, culminating in a three-year jail sentence for committing perjury during his defamation case against the News of the World.

Pattison's play will recreate the "magical world of fluffy handcuffs, lies and swingers' clubs" referred to in evidence during the court case over the tabloid's claims that Sheridan was an adulterer.

But Strathclyde Police has thrown a spanner in the works following the arrest of Coulson, the Prime Minister's former head of communications, on charges that he lied under oath about his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World, when he gave evidence at Sheridan's perjury trial. The former tabloid editor said he would "vigorously contest" the charges.

Pattison told The Independent: "Andy Coulson is referenced in the play. We're waiting to see if it's going to court. Depending on what happens there may have to be some tweaking."

I, Tommy, staged at the Gilded Balloon, will follow Sheridan, 48, on a journey from "Karl Marx to Coolio", a reference to his 2009 appearance on Celebrity Big Brother alongside the rapper. Pattison said: "It's a human story as much as political.

"The story goes back more than 20 years, from when Tommy is fighting the poll tax."

Sheridan, the former Scottish Socialist Party leader, was released from jail in January this year after serving one year of his sentence and vowed to continue the fight to clear his name.The politician is aware of the stage portrayal. "I met him once and he questioned me about the play," Pattison said. "I'll invite him to the festival. It would be nice if he comes along."

Politics and the media under the glare of the Leveson Inquiry are prominent targets at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. A new play, Coalition, set in 2014, imagines a scenario in which the Conservative Prime Minister and his Liberal Democrat Deputy haven't spoken for months.

The Election: A Silent Comedy charts the final hours of a doomed political campaign.

Rich Peppiatt, the former Daily Star reporter who gave evidence against his former bosses at Leveson, will appear in his own one-man show, One Rogue Reporter, at the Pleasance Courtyard.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices