Review: The Commitments, Wales Millennium Centre

Photo by: Johan Persson

The Commitments, Tuesday 11th April, Wales Millennium Centre, reviewer: Hannah Stait

The Commitments is a musical that music fans will love and is a real celebration of soul. With the success of the 1991 BAFTA winning classic film, the story was brought the the West End After a whirlwind of positive reviews. From a two year run in the West End, The Commitments is now half way through its UK tour which is running right up until the 13th of May.
The musical tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, an avid music fan from Dublin in the 80s, who sets a group of working class individuals the task of creating the finest soul band that Dublin has ever produced.
Whilst the story told portrays amateur musicians finding their way in the music world, the same cannot be said for the talented cast, who proved to be incredibly talented musicians. The singing talents of each and every member meant that you really felt like you were at a concert of an 80s soul band. Andrew Linnie was exceptional as the lead of the show, Jimmy Rabbitte, and was supported by an incredible bunch of performers, namely Brian Gilligan who portrayed the troublesome character of Deco with ease. His singing talents blew me away and I’m sure the rest of the audience felt the same. Also starring was Kevin Kennedy as the father of Jimmy and he played the part exceptionally, imparting moments of pure hilarity, allowing for belly aching laughs and heartfelt warmth.
The show uses over 20 soul classics such as ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ and ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,’ and many more, that everyone in the audience could sing and dance along to. The songs helped to tell a story, a story that was created by original self -published author and Booker prize winner Roddy Doyle. Whilst he originally hadn’t planned to write the script for the musical he soon found that no other writers were able to portray his story better than himself – and after seeing The Commitments, I agree! Doyle shared that he wished to create a wholesome story that dealt with neither life or death, simply showing the real lives of real working class musicians through song and comedy.
This amazing show directed by Caroline Jay Ranger is definitely one to watch, and you’ll be garanteed to leave the theatre with a bit more soul in your steps!
by Hannah Stait