The Commitments: A Review

Please put your hands together for The Commitments- The hardest working band in Dublin!

Based on the BAFTA award-winning film classic, the hit duke-box musical The Commitments takes to the stage once again and it was nothing short of spectacular! 

I was lucky enough to be invited to watch The Commitments at the Wales Millennium Centre and it quickly shot to the top as one of my favourite shows. The sheer, infectious energy of this show left me blown away. I didn’t know much about it before going in and, admittedly, knew little about the 90s band itself. But I think that allowed me to enjoy it in a different way. 

This show follows the story of the band, The Commitments, down on their luck and hardly a penny between them. Band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte (played by James Killeen) does everything he can to put together the finest soul band in Dublin. But with hilariously band auditions, internal band conflict and one too many drinks, Jimmy’s dream is anything but easy. 

This cast had talent bursting from the seams. Each one giving an incredible performance, with voices that left the audience with goosebumps. Ben Morris as Deco in particular wowed us with his renditions of the soul classics we all know so well. Stuart Reid as Joey, Ciara Mackey as Imelda, Michael Mahony as Outspan, Ryan Kelly as Billy, Conor Litten as Dean, Guy Freeman as Derek, Stephen O’Rian as James, Ronnie Yorke as Mickah, Maryann Lynch as Natalie and Sarah Cardiner as Bernie brought this story to life. Simply incredible.

It was no surprise that the score for this show was brilliant. Jam-packed with hit after hit. With infamous songs such as: ‘Night Train’, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’, ‘River Deep’, ‘Mountain High’, ‘In The Midnight Hour’, ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, ‘Save Me’, ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, ‘Thin Line Between Love And Hate’, ‘Reach Out’, ‘Uptight’, ‘Knock On Wood’ and ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’, it was like I’d fallen into 1990’s Dublin at an actual The Commitments concert. It was an experience like no other.

The visuals of this show were very clever, using mainly the centre third of the stage and keeping it’s grungy, working-class aesthetic throughout. From the creative mind of Set Designer Tim Blazdell and Director Andrew Linnie, they transported us from the many different settings seamlessly so the flow of the story was never lost. 

If you’re looking for an energetic, fun-filled, toe-tapping night out, this is the show to see! It does tilt to an older audience and it can be enjoyed by a Commitments novice or their number one fan. By the end of the show, when the cast invited the audience to stand up to dance and sing along, there was no delay. Everyone jumped to their feet. The atmosphere in the auditorium was unbelievable right up into the lights came up. This is the show to see this summer!

The Commitments will be at the Wales Millennium Centre until the 27th May before they continue their tour across the UK. So get your tickets now!

For more information you can visit the Wales Millennium Centre website, Facebook and Instagram. And check out the official The Commitments website and Instagram.