Living in London I should be taking better advantage of the West End theatre productions that are on all year round. I’ve never really been much of a theatre person to be honest, but I think that’s all kind of changed since I went to see “The Commitments” at Palace Theatre.
The name Roddy Doyle rang a bell in my head, and it took me a while to realise that the play, which is based on a book, which also had an oscar nominated film adaption, was written by non other than the author of “The Giggler Treatment” (For those of you that don’t know, The Giggler Treatment was my favourite book back when I was 7 years old. It’s about children, biscuits and poo. But that’s for another blog.) Also to add to it’s credit the screenplay has been adapted Doyle and I think plays are always a little better when the original author writes them!
The Commitments is a story about a group of guys (and three gals) in Dublin who start a band. It’s a story about some teenagers who don’t really know how to play their instrument and who don’t really know what music they want to play. Well I guess they do. The theme is “Soul” and soul is interested because it’s more about how something is played and sang than the original genre of the song itself.
As expected of Roddy Doyle there is a lot of laugh out loud moments. Lots of “eejits” (the irish way of saying idiot) and just some very rimshot style jokes, with an actual snare drum. However comedy isn’t the main focus, although it a big part of the play. Instead the show is more about personality, or excuse the wording, soul of people who want to do music. So if you want to see what it’s actually like trying to start a band, in your garage with a bunch of people who don’t always get along then yes, you need to see this show.
For me, the biggest reason why I loved this? The energy. There was so much of it. The music, the dancing, it felt more like I was going to a concert which happened to also be a play. The music was a big a part of the show as the script, and for a musical that’s a pretty big deal. Instead of throwing in songs to represent a moment like most musicals, the songs are played because it’s the band that wants to play them – no deep meaning behind it. Just good music.
There was an encore at the end of the show. Three floors of seating stood up for three songs. Everyone was dancing. I saw kids, old folks and couple clapping and jumping along. How did they pull off a 2 hour show AND end with a huge concert style encore?? It’s ridiculous.
Everyone left the theatre buzzing. I’ve never felt that before leaving a theatre. But there it was. It was amazing. I want to go again.
If you don’t live in London or you’re not going to be visiting London then check out the film by the same title, it’s also pretty amazing!