While I’ve previously made it no secret of my slightly precarious attitude to seeing some of my favourite films adapted for the stage (The Lion King, Dirty Dancing, Billy Elliot) for risk of seeing something I love in an unfamiliar light, I have an altogether different stance on seeing productions I know little or nothing of and I welcome these invites to discover new shows, characters and who knows, even new favourites to add to my theatrical repertoire.
This was the case when I went along to opening night of The Commitments at The Regent Theatre. I knew nothing of the show other than what my dad had told me (“it’s brilliant – I’d love to come with you but I’m in Cyprus with your mum”) so I deliberately didn’t read up on and it went along to see the show for myself.
The Commitments tells the story of working class youths in the 1980s who explore the sound and sentiment of soul; something that we learn is far greater than their small world at home in Dublin. Led by a young Jimmy Rabbite (Andrew Linnie), a band is brought together through some hilarious rounds of auditions where somehow a bunch of misfits all seem to find their place, and later their voices. We witness the rise of The Commitments and their ultimate demise.
The cast had real chemistry and not long into the performance do you feel as though you’re peering in on what any band looks like in their early days; the rehearsals in the garage, the late night phone calls trying to pull together gigs, and you soon forget that you’re at the theatre but instead feel like you’re front row at one of their concerts.
The Commitments runs at The Regent Theatre until Saturday 19th November. Tickets areavailable online or from the box office.