Last night was press night for a show I’ve been dying to see for absolutely AGES – The Commitments. It’s one of those films that I used to sit and watch with my parents and just loved – great music, great script, great movie.
So when I heard the west end smash hit was making its way around the UK I couldn’t wait to take my seat and see how Caroline Ranger and her team transformed this beloved film on stage…and I didn’t have to ask twice to see if mum and dad wanted to come with me too! Off we all went to The Regent in Stoke greeted by the ever smiling staff ready for a night of soul!
For those who haven’t seen the film (or read the original book by Roddy Doyle), The Commitments is based in Dublin, late 80’s, and follows the story of young and eager Jimmy Rabbitte who has a dream to bring soul music back to Dublin by putting together a band. After holding auditions to find a rather eclectic group of musicians and singers, The Commitments are born and we see their rise to fame unfold in front of us with success, disaster and a whole lot of awesome tunes.
I loved the staging of The Commitments Musical. Dark and dingy pubs, typical 1980’s home decor and enough props to completely throw you into their world. Musical transitions helped one scene flow into another and there was never a dull moment on stage.
Ok, so those of you who’ve seen the film will want to know one question and one question only – does Brian Gilligan’s Deco live up to the epic gravely sounds of Andrew Strong? Personally, I think Brain smashed it. He could have done with a bit more gravel for Mustang Sally but his voice is quite simply epic. All three of the commitment-ettes were awesome too, rocking out some incredible notes on those soul classics. At times I forgot I was watching a musical because it felt like we were at a Commitments concert!
The plot followed nicely on stage with the storyline in the film although ending slightly abruptly. Always tricky to tie off a film like The Commitments though so it wasn’t too strange. If you’re looking for a night filled with fantastic music, laugh out loud comedy and serious soul, The Commitments is for you!
The Commitments is showing at The Regent Theatre until Saturday 19th November before moving onto it’s next tour destination – grab your tickets from the box office here!