December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The cast of a new West End production of The Commitments has been announced, and includes an actor from the stage and film version of Les Miserables.
The show, which will be at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning Roddy Doyle, from his original novel, and will feature 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, and Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding.
The show follows Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act.
Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the line-up of a band he names The Commitments. The humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, and proceed through early rehearsals to their first gig.
Many of the actors and actresses who will star in the show will be making their West End debuts, including Denis Grindel, who has been cast in the lead role of Rabbitte. Grindel had just completed a law degree when he took a late audition for drama school, winning a place. He is currently finishing his stage school dissertation.
The arrogant but gifted lead singer of The Commitments, Deco, will be played by screen and stage actor Killian Donnelly, who was recently seen in the film version of Les Miserables. He has also starred in the stage version of Les Miserables, and in Phantom of the Opera.
The Commitmentettes, Dublin’s answer to The Supremes, are to be played by three young Dublin girls, all making their West End debuts – Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi.
Playing the senior musician in the group, the spiritually inspired trumpet player extraordinaire, Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan, is the talented and well versed Ben Fox.
Rabbitte’s father will be played by established actor Sean Kearns, who has been in Alan Parker’s film Angela’s Ashes and the BBC’s Ballykissangel.
Doyle said: “I’ve been sitting in rehearsals, watching these terrific young people becoming The Commitments. I’m hearing them sing, I’m watching them play their instruments – and it all makes me very happy and excited.
“What amuses me most is the fact that only one of them was born when I wrote the novel.”
The Commitments will have its world premiere on October 8, with previews from September 21.