The Commitments at Royal & Derngate

This musical is full of soul and it’s here at Royal & Derngate!

This is just what was needed to entertain me on a cold April evening! What a funny, foot-tapping, entertaining show this was! The Commitments certainly warmed things up bringing us some of the best soul songs ever recorded to the stage!

I had no expectations of this show prior to arriving, but I left with a big smile on my face!

For those who may not be familiar, The Commitments is a jukebox musical based on the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle, and tells the story of a group of working-class Dubliners who form a soul band in the 1980s.

The lead character, Jimmy Rabbitte, is a young music enthusiast who decides to form the band and become their manager. The group consists of a diverse range of characters with different backgrounds and personalities, but they all share a passion for music.

Throughout the musical, the band faces numerous challenges, including personal conflicts and financial struggles, as they try to make a name for themselves in the music industry. However, they persevere and eventually land a gig at a local venue. The performance is a hit, and the band quickly gains a following.

As their fame grows, tensions mount within the group, with egos clashing and personal relationships becoming strained. Eventually, the band reaches a breaking point and disbands, leaving Jimmy to contemplate his role in their success and the value of his own aspirations.

The musical features numerous classic soul and R&B hits, such as “Mustang Sally” and “Try A Little Tenderness,” and is known for its high-energy performances and charismatic characters.

Some of my favourite moments included Mustang Sally, Mary, Papa Was A Rolling Stone and of course, Try A Little Tenderness. These were all performed with great energy and amazing vocals by the fabulous cast.

Ian Mcintosh made a great Deco, what a voice! He certainly gave a mesmerising performance and kept the energy going right through until the end as did the rest of this great cast. He also had tons of sex appeal that made the ladies swoon in the audience during the finale!

James Killeen who played Jimmy, guided us through the evening with his lovely Irish charm and wit!

The show does also not stray too far from the movie. It gives us a sense of the working-class Dublin folks and their connection to soul music. It keeps a lovely lightness about it though, not delving as deep as the film.

The ending is slightly different, again keeping its lightness, but then the encore arrives! This has everyone on their feet and ends the evening on a massive high!

If you want to be thoroughly entertained by this great show…get yourselves down to the Royal and Derngate.

Not to be missed! 5 stars from me! Book your tickets here.

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