- Posted By: Glenn Rice on: Tue, 23rd Apr 2013 at 3:36pm
Author Roddy Doyle and director Jamie Lloyd launched their new musical The Commitments at the West End’s Palace Theatre today, 23 April. The show commences previews at the Palace on 21 September.
Man Booker Prize-winner Doyle has adapted the stage version himself from his best-selling 1987 novel of the same name, which was previously produced as a smash-hit movie by Alan Parker in 1991.
The Commitments tells the story of 'the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced'. Its comic tale of a motley combo of young musos begins with two members of a crummy synth band playing in a shop window to disinterested passers-by. The duo turns to neighbourhood music expert Jimmy Rabbitte for help.
Jimmy places an ad in a local music paper and is soon auditioning the wannabes that will eventually become The Commitments. The band turns out to be explosive live, but when their moment of real success approaches, its members' volatile relationships threaten to tear down everything they've worked for.
Like the movie version, the musical will feature the Commitments performing Wilson Pickett’s classic Mustang Sally, as well as a boatload of other immortal soul classics.
"I hadn’t planned to write it myself but then I did. I really enjoyed it," Doyle said of the stage adptation. "We had met with a number of impressive writers but I found I was answering all the questions the producers and I were asking them. I told my wife ‘I’m thinking I might have a bash at the script myself’ and she said ‘You took your time.’ "
Doyle’s best-selling novels includes The Snapper, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
Lloyd's previous West End directing credits include She Stoops To Conquer at the NT, the Olivier-nominated Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse and Vaudeville Theatre, and The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic.
The Commitments' musical director Alan Williams'has previously worked on the West End productions of A Chorus Line, Spamalot, Jerry Springer - The Opera, Billy Elliot and Mamma Mia! plus many others.
The Commitments is, apparently, three-quarters cast at present, primarily with fresh young talents chosen at open auditions in Ireland. Details will be announced soon.