TEARS will be shed as a Ballingry veteran watches his own incredible life story unfold on stage.

This summer, Paul Boggie faces the surreal experience of taking his seat as an audience member and watching another man step into his shoes.

That man is actor and playwright Tony McGeever, who is now destined to play the part of Paul - and a whole host of other characters - for an upcoming production in the capital this August as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

As reported previously by the Times, Paul's book Heroin to Hero was released two years ago and McGeever was captivated by the life the 43-year-old has called his own.

From escaping death's door by beating heroin addiction, to joining the army and guarding Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace, it is no wonder that McGeever could barely believe the former addict's autobiography was real.

Paul, meanwhile, can barely comprehend the reality that his book is now set for the world's largest arts festival.

"This was never part of the plan," he told the Times.

"Tony entering my life in this way is a complete bonus.

"This is all just a dream and it hasn't quite sunk in yet."

Heroin to Hero opens this Friday, August 5, at Army @ The Fringe's Drill Hall - Venue 358 - and runs until August 28 (dates available online).

It is not just McGeever who will have the attention on him on opening night, as film crews will also be in attendance to capture Paul's reaction to the play for an upcoming documentary.

"I don't know what to expect", he said.

"I'm excited. I'm anxious. I am like a kid before Christmas.

"The cameras will be on me and the thing is, I'm an ugly crier! It will be emotional and I will probably cry.

"My parents will also be going to see it a few days after, which will be very emotional for them.

"Once I've been to see it on opening night, I will need to chat with them and tell them what to expect.

"They know my story and have read my book. So they know about my thoughts of suicide and drug use.

"It won't be new to them, but I don't think anything will hit as close to home as this."

Paul's book tells the story of how he grew up in Edinburgh’s Craigentinny where he lost his way and ended up on Portobello beach taking heroin and a mixture of other drugs.

He managed to ditch drugs and join the Scots Guards, which saw him involved in royal occasions in London before he was medically discharged from service after a car crash.

Tickets cost £14 (adults) and £10 (concessions) and are available online via www.tickets.edfringe.com or by phoning: 0131 226 0000.