The Commitments has been bringing the people’s music to the people of London, playing to packed houses since the show opened at the Palace Theatre in October 2013. This success has paved the way for the show to extend its current booking period to 19 April 2015.
So popular has the show been, the recent Christmas and New Year period confirmed The Commitments as the most successful show in the long, illustrious history of the Palace Theatre.
On announcing the extension, producer Phil McIntyre said: “We’re extremely happy to announce that The Commitments has extended its current booking period to April 2015. The show has really found its feet in the Palace Theatre and the response from audiences has been quite incredible.”
The Commitments opened to rave reviews in October 2013; The Sunday Times awarded the show five stars saying “The Commitments is the musical we’ve been waiting for. So good, our critic almost weeps”, with the Daily Telegraph and The Times both awarding the show four stars.
The cast is full of exciting talent, including popular stage actor Killian Donnelly (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) who plays the arrogant but gifted lead singer of The Commitments, Deco. Killian has already received huge critical acclaim for his performances, The Independent describing his portrayal of Deco as “phenomenal”, and The Observer agree, stating “Killian Donnelly is the star of the show”. Killian has waited his whole life to play this role, having constantly been told by his mum that he was too young to watch or read The Commitments, when growing up in Dublin.
The show has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning Roddy Doyle, from his original novel. It is directed by the award-winning Jamie Lloyd, famed for directing the critically acclaimed Macbeth, and is packed with classic soul songs including Think by Aretha Franklin, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations, Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd, In The Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett, Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding and of course, Mustang Sally.
The Commitments is the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show follows the journey of two members of a frustrated synthesiser band – the opening scene has them playing but 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 playing legend, the singer has entered Eurovision, the drummer has walked out mid-gig and the saxophone player has dangerous leanings towards a jazz career.