- Posted By: Glenn Rice on: Wed, 21st Aug 2013 at 2:22pm
Casting for Roddy Doyle's The Commitments has been announced. The musical, about a motley crew of young Dublin chancers who form a killer '60s-style soul band, begins previews at the West End's Palace Theatre on 21 September.
Denis Grindel will play the Commitments' manager Jimmy Rabbite. He has previously appeared in Rent at Wexford Opera House and Cork Opera House, and Spring Awakening at Helix Dublin and Waterford Opera House. He is still working on his post graduate studies at Central School of Speech and Drama, and The Commitments will be his West End debut.
Sean Kearns, whose credits include Alan Parker's film Angela's Ashes and TV's Ballykissangel, will play Jimmy's father.
Commitments lead singer and principal troublemaker Deco will be played by Killian Donnelly, whose previous credits include The Wireman at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, Singin' in the Rain, The Full Monty at the Olympia Theatre and West Side Story at the Solstice Theatre.
Ben Fox is presently puckering up his embouchure in preparation for his role as the Commitments' spiritually-minded trumpeter Joey 'The Lips' Fagan. Fox's previous credits include the UK Tour of Radio Times, Backbeat at the Duke Of York's Theatre, and Judgement Day for the Almeida.
Backing singers The Commitmentettes will be played by a trio of young Irish actors making their West End debuts: Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi.
The show is adapted by Man Booker Prize-winner Doyle himself (left) from his best-selling 1987 novel, which was previously turned into an Oscar-nominated movie by Alan Parker in 1991. Direction is by Jamie Lloyd, with musical direction by Alan Williams.
The Commitments tells the poignant and funny story of an unlikely combo of young chancers who against all odds manage to form a wallopingly good soul band. It begins with a go-nowhere synth duo who are so frustrated with their lack of success that they turn 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 into a red-hot live act, but on the cusp of real success the musicians' explosive relationships threaten to tear down all they've worked for.