The Divine Comedy, an Evening with Neil Hannon

15 September 2011

Live at the RSC

Sunday 30 October at 7.30pm

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB
Box Office 0844 800 1110

Neil Hannon makes his RSC debut on Sunday 30 October at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Live at the RSC series of concerts.

Over the years The Divine Comedy has encompassed many musicians, but the driving force of the band and its main and sometimes only member has always been Neil Hannon.

Neil Hannon said: 'I am very excited about the prospect of playing on the famous stage of the RSC. When I think about the luminaries who have passed that way before me I feel a little overawed but as usual will battle on regardless. I'll be ready on October 30th, with my prosthetic hump and plastic skull.'

He chose the name The Divine Comedy aged 18, almost at random. He and two Enniskillen school friends needed a new name for their band and Neil spotted a copy of Dante's epic poem on the family bookshelf. It stuck, and a year later it was the name under which the trio signed to Irish run indie Setanta Records. They left Northern Ireland, moved into a squat in London, released a mini-album, 1990's REM/Ride influenced Fanfare for the Comic Muse and Europop E.P. (1991) then split up. Neil's bandmates went to university and Neil returned home.

Albums have included Liberation, Promenade (described by Stuart Maconie in 1994 as 'a masterpiece' and Casanova. Neil wrote the theme tune for the Channel 4 comedy classic, Father Ted. Reworked, with lyrics added, it became Songs of Love. Other hit songs include: National Express, Something for the Weekend, Becoming More like Alfie, Generation X and The Frog Princess.

His seven song album was entitled A Short Album about Love (1997) was arranged by Joby Talbot, and recorded live at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, with the band plus the 30 piece Brunel Ensemble, it was released in time for Valentine's Day, His album, Fin de Siecle, was recorded in two weeks charting at number 9 in 1998.

He worked with Tom Jones on his album Reload and Ute Lemper on her Punishing Kiss album. The Divine Comedy released Regeneration for new label Parlophone Records in March 2001. The album, Absent Friends was produced and largely performed by Neil himself. He is now busy working on new material for a variety of projects, including the new Divine Comedy album.

Tickets £12.50 - £25

For more information, interviews and photographs please contact Nada Zakula in the RSC Press Office on 01789 412622 or

Or Dean Asker on 01789 412660 or

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