Phil Lynott play premieres in Edinburgh

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A new play about Philip Lynott from former EastEnders actor Rob Mountford debuts this evening at the Edinburgh Festival.

Described as “a hilarious, philosophical, rock ‘n’ roll one-man show”, Vagabonds – My Phil Lynott Odyssey is an hour-long soliloquy co-written by and starring 40-year-old Mountford, who played Dr Farah Singh in the long-running soap back in 2013.

The storyline is jointly inspired by the lives of Thin Lizzy leader Lynott, who died in 1986, and by 40-year-old Mountford himself.

The actor, whose CV also includes The Royal Shakespeare Company and spots on Casualty, tells Classic Rock: “Phil was a black Irishman and I’m a brown Brummie but we both grew up as mixed race kids in predominantly white areas, and when that happens you either allow people to push you around or you take life by the scruff of the neck and go for it. Phil did the latter, and I thought it was about time there was a play about him.

“But this is storytelling, and things go off on a strange diversion,” he continues. “Gradually, my own story began to make its presence felt. As the links between the two of us grew, I realised we were exploring what a hero really is. But I hope that it’s funny too. I wanted it to be joyous.”

Lynott’s mother Philomena “offered encouragement” to Mountford when he visited her at her home, and feedback to several ‘dry-run’ rehearsals has been encouraging.

“My dream would be to perform the play in Dublin and Cork,” he sums up. “Coming from a classical background this is real departure for me, and if you’re going to go for something then it’s always best to go nuts.”

Vagabonds – My Phil Lynott Odyssey can be seen at the Edinburgh Festival – Zoo Venues (The Monkey House) August 7-31st, on every night at 9.10pm except August 19. Tickets are on sale now.