Heroin to Hero

There are many rags-to-riches stories around but probably not another that follows a young heroin addict’s journey from death’s door to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Packed with emotional vigour

Heroin to Hero is a solo performance by Tony McGeever who has taken Paul Boggie’s acclaimed autobiography of the same name and turned it into a confessional play. The story is told in chronological order, making it easy to follow and in so doing sequences the highs and lows of his life. Growing up on the Craigentinny estate in Edinburgh he was introduced to heroin a the age of 18. He held down his job for a while but the drug increasingly took over his life, drained his bank account, caused massive weight loss and destroyed his self-esteem. The only thing that went up with the heroin was his level of debt. One day it all changed when he discovered the Cyrenians charity who, after thirteen attempts to quit, finally put him on the path to recovery. With their help he physically and mentally confronted himself. With his nose to the bedroom mirror he said, “Don't ever ask for heroin again because you're not getting it”. Aged 30 he managed to join the Scots guards and secure his future.

McGeever relates all of this and many more events and incidents in Boggie’s life. Much of it is straightforward narrative, but the Dundee Rep and National Theatre actor turns it into a tale packed with emotional vigour, capturing the distress and discomfort of not just taking heroin but of tearing your family apart, of losing out on life and betraying those you love. But it is matched with the exuberance and sense of well-being that comes with reconciliation and the triumph of having overcome tragedy. Both extremes are captivating in his portrayal of what Boggie experienced.

The only things that perhaps detract are the cluttered stage and an overly zealous sound and lighting plot, that goes to excess in an attempt to highlight and support the script and performance.

That aside it’s a moving piece of theatre that serves not only to entertain but also contributes to saving lives through Boggie’s commitment to work in prisons and schools in the belief that if he can do it, so can others.

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Since you’re here…

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Performances

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The Blurb

The one-man show based on the true and unbelievable story of Paul Boggie who went from heroin addict to guarding the Queen at Buckingham palace. On death’s door from a heroin addiction, failed by the system designed to keep him there for profit, Paul needed to free himself from his doomed future. This show is a roller-coaster ride of hard-to-believe coincidences and heartache that led Paul to guarding the Queen! Thrown into an intoxicating visceral world that will leave you questioning your beliefs, you will see Paul’s life choices open up endless possibilities.

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