The Commitments is being brought to the West End in the very near future, with writer Roddy Doyle confirming the details with the BBC.
The Commitments, quite possibly one of the best British/Irish films in recent years, is being brought to the stage by it's creator Roddy Doyle a quarter of a century after it was first published in 1987. The story of protagonist Jimmy Rabbitte's efforts to create the greatest soul act Dublin has ever seen was made into a movie in 1991, with the idea of turning the story into a stage production long being an achievable possibility that is finally being realised.
The story, which won the Booker Prize when it was first published, follows a group of young, unemployed people living in the north side of the Irish capital who, under the influence and tutelage of their budding manager Rabbitte and a enigmatic old trumpetteer (Joey "The Lips" Fagan), decide to start a soul band. Speaking to BBC Radio 5, Doyle explained that the real reason why The Commitments was never made into a stage show was simply because he didn't like musicals. However, once he began to broaden his horizons and actually went to go see a musical, his opinion on the genre changed.
He said, "I think the first was The Producers. It was quite a revelation because the film is terrific and I was wondering why would you want to do a musical? And actually it was great, it was very funny and sharp and you forgot about the film quite quickly."
You may be thinking that Roddy has not taken into consideration the possibility that a musical adaption of the movie might seem stale on stage, but luckily it seems as though Roddy has taken this into consideration and as such he is taking steps to make sure that the stage show is as fresh as the movie was in 1991. "The challenge is to make it a fresh show and not to ape the film," he told Radio 5.
The new show is being produced by Phil McIntyre and will be directed by emerging talent Jamie Lloyd, who is currently enjoying rave reviews for his re-telling of Macbeth with star James McAvoy. No actors have been chosen for the project yet.
Roddy Doyle is bringing The Commitments to the stage at last.