The Commitments*** (Palace Theatre, 2 October 2013)

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Theatre

photo-103The West End is awash with adaptations from films, using non-original music, but, if any film ever cried out for a stage version, it is “The Commitments”. Roddy Doyle adapts his own novel about the emergence of a soul band in working class Dublin and director of the moment, Jamie Lloyd, injects much the same level of raw energy that made the film so likeable. The first half is a musical with hardly any music and some of the comedy falls flat, but things get much livelier in the second half once the band has been formed. In any event, the story is fairly thin and anticlimactic, so the show relies heavily on the songs. Killian Donnelly as the obnoxious lead singer with the golden voice, is terrific in delivering them. Denis Grindel, as the young manager, carries us though most of the narrative energetically. There is enough entertainment here to ensure a decent run, but anyone who just wants to hear a bunch of soul classics reasonably well performed could do better by simply getting a ticket to see a real band.

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