Currently in rehearsals and based on the 1991 film of the same name, The Commitments musical will begin previews at the Palace Theatre late next month. Novelist Roddy Doyle on whose original book the film was based, says of the youthful cast: "What amuses me most is the fact that only one of them was born when I wrote the novel." With most of the cast hot out of drama school the show will be a great platform for their talent and a springboard for their burgeoning careers.
Lead actor Denis Grindel had been cast as band manager Jimmy Rabbitte before he had even finished the MA course at the Central School of Speech and Drama that he was enroled on. The Irishman, currently juggling rehearsals with a 12,000-word end of course essay says “I never imagined I would be in a lead role in the West End so soon". He had been studying business and law at University College in Dublin, before deciding to make a career-change on a whim. His mother had encouraged him to make the move to London as he still had youth on his side, and Grindel is thrilled that this amazing opportunity means that he's been able to show his parents he's "not a bloody eejit."
Novelist Doyle, who has adapted the stageshow from his novel says: “I’ve been sitting in rehearsals, watching these terrific young people becoming The Commitments, and it all makes me very happy and excited." Advance sales have been impressive and the show's positive vibe and strong pedigree suggest that the production could well see a long West End tenure. Previews start on the 21st September.
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