Palace Theatre, London – booking until 1 November 2015
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this show, but I needed a great feel good show to take the family (parents) to and so I booked The Commitments.
The story of a group of unlikely lads who set out to bring “Soul To The People” managed by Jimmy Rabbitt, tells the story of how, if people work together amazing things can and do happen. Based on Roddy Doyle‘s novel and subsequent hit film in 1991 all set in Dublin in the 1980’s.
I bought my program and out fell a piece of paper with a cast list on it. This gave me an inkling that some of the roles may be being performed by either alternates or understudies. Most of my regular readers will know that I champion this and so reading no further I took to my seat in this historic and beautiful theatre ready to be entertained, hoping that the show was as good as I had remembered.
Opening with a rendition of “Master and Servant” were Ray, (Padraig Dooney), Derek (Mark Dugdale) and Outspan (John McLarnon) who instantly had the Audience chuckling with amusement and was a great opener by these actors.
Jimmy (Denis Grindel) is the charasmatic band manager who tries to hold them together. Grindel has played the role since the show opened in 2013. Two years on he’s as strong as he has ever been. I really feel that this is a career defining role for Grindel and can’t think of anyone who is better suited to this role at present.
Our Deco for the evening was Daniel Lloyd whom I have to say I was simply astonished to read on my departure, normally is an auditionee/ensemble covering many smaller parts. This Welsh-born actor is extremely talented. Lloyd brought rawness to the role and along with the required arrogance the character demands, a normality which showed elements of vulnerability, an interesting and unexpected twist. A brilliantly superb acting and vocally stunning performance. Definitely one I would hope will give him the opportunity to gain future lead roles when this show closes on November 1st.
Other notably mention worthy performances were (as always) Jessica Cervi, Sarah O’Connor, Sean Kearns, and Andrew Linnie. More excellent understudy performances from Amy Penston (Natalie) Ryan Gibb (Mikah) Christopher Fry (Joey).
Quite simply this show is an evening of sublime entertainment. if you love live music especially Soul this is the show for you! I’m utterly baffled as to why it is closing, it was a Sunday night, a big theatre over four levels (I think), not a spare seat and every single person was on their feet at the end of the show! This should not close, it’s a travesty – tour announcement soon please? – Breaking News; My sources have just informed me that there has been a tour announced for 2017! Superb! I’m booking it in my diary now!