On Monday 17th April, Easter Monday, my family and I journeyed to Woking to watch ‘The Commitments’ in the New Victoria Theatre. With it originally having been released as a book by the famous Roddy Doyle in 1987, then adapted into a film in 1991 by Alan Parker, my mum booked it in anticipation that it would match or even better these.
The rough synopsis is young Irish music fan, Jimmy Rabbitte, rounds up a very mixed bunch of friends and musicians in the hope that they can provide the finest soul in Dublin. The group gradually gets to know each other and they seem to be getting on well enough, until the lead singer keeps turning up late to rehearsals, then secretly decides to sign up for Eurovision. All very suddenly the group goes their separate ways and performance ended.
All throughout the performance there was very strong language and inappropriate references, which of course is not everyone’s cup of tea, and my mum forgot about this, unfortunately bringing my ten year old sister along! The entire show was full of good humour, although I must say the acting could have been better. Thankfully, the songs were classics including ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ and ‘The Midnight Hour’, and were sung amazingly well.
Now I’m no professional musical critic, but I will tell you what I thought of the staging. Firstly, there was some very clever rolling on and off of pub and living room sets by the stage crew, which I believe added another dimension to the musical. Furthermore, during the songs there was some very dramatic lighting, which was on the verge of blinding but really made you feel as though you weren’t in a small theatre but at a big gig.
I would without doubt recommend this to everyone, but take children under 14 at your own discretion! There are performances in Woking until the 22nd of April, or in Theatre Royal, Plymouth from the 24th to the 29th.
By Roisin McEvoy