The story of an epic band
The Commitments, the critically acclaimed musical written by Roddy Doyle, is at Bradford Alhambra from 8th to 13th May, starring Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy, as Jimmy’s Da.
It’s 30 years since The Commitments – the world’s hardest working soul band – first burst from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel, Doyle says: “The Commitments were born in Dublin, moved to London, and are now hopping all over the shop. I wrote the novel – invented the characters – in 1986, and it thrills me to think that they will be entertaining audiences throughout the UK 30 years later, in 2016.”
Kevin Kennedy won the hearts of the nation when he starred as Curly Watts in Coronation Street. Since leaving Corrie, Kevin has regularly appeared in theatre productions including: Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and We Will Rock You.
The show has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, from his original novel. Directed by Caroline Jay Ranger, The Commitments is packed with more than 20 classic soul songs performed live on stage including: Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, River Deep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Save Me, Mustang Sally, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Reach Out, Knock On Wood, I Can’t Turn You Loose and more!
The Commitments tells 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.