IT’S ALL ABOUT SOUL
Based on Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel, The Commitments is now playing at The Palace Theatre.
The Commitments, which has taken more than two years to create and was adapted by the Booker prize winner Roddy Doyle himself. The Commitments is directed by Jamie Lloyd whose Trafalgar Transformed season is taking the West End by storm!
The Commitments is the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians and friends into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show follows the journey of two members of a frustrated synthesizer band – the opening scene we find them playing but being ignored in a shop window – who turn to Jimmy, the local music expert, for help.
Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the new line up who he names The Commitments. The humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, and proceed through early rehearsals for their first gig. Just as they improve and begin to get a name for themselves they combust. The backing singers are all getting off with the middle aged horn legend, the singer has entered Eurovision and the saxophone player has dangerous leaning towards a jazz career.
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Deco – Killian Donnelly
Joey – Ben Fox
Jimmy – Denis Grindel
James – Barnaby Southgate
Derek – Mark Dugdale
Billy – Brian Gillligan
Dean – Andrew Linnie
Mickah – Joe Woolmer
Outspan – Matthew Wycliffe
Bernie – Jessica Cervi
Natalie – Stephanie McKeon
Imelda – Sarah O’Connor
Book by Roddy Doyle
Directed by Jamie Lloyd
Designs by Soutra Gilmour
Lighting by Jon Clark
Choreography by Ann Yee
Sound design by Rory Madden
Musical supervisor Alan Williams
The biggest compliment I can pay Jamie Lloyd’s production is to say that it really has got soul. It’s memorably gritty at times (the swear-word count is exceptionally high) and also proves wonderfully funny and touching.
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
Frenetic, exuberant and unashamed, this first staging of the Roddy Doyle book/film as a musical only disappoints if you’re going to be Mr Picky O’Picky. Which I am.
Euan Ferguson, The Observer
By the end the mood is boisterous enough to get the audience on its feet, but the upbeat second half can’t eclipse the memory of an uncomfortably flimsy first 25 minutes. And if the grandeur of this lavish Victorian venue contrasts weirdly with the grubbiness and grit of the world Doyle depicts, it’s also a shame that we don’t see more of his usual tender humanity.
Henry Hitchings London Evening Standard