Casting Announced for West End Premiere of Stage Version of The Commitments

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20 Aug 2013

Casting has been announced for the West End premiere of The Commitments, a stage version of Roddy Doyle's story of the same name that begins performances Sept. 21, prior to an official opening Oct. 8.



The show tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show follows the journey of two members of a frustrated synthesizer band – the opening scene has them playing but ignored in a shop window - who turn to Jimmy, the local music expert, for help. Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalizing the new line-up who he names The Commitments. 

The lead role of Jimmy Rabbitte, the band's manager, is to be played by Denis Grindel in his West End debut. Grindel is still finishing his stage school dissertation. Having completed a law degree, he was about to sign a contract for his first job when he took a late audition for drama school, and won a place. Just one year on, he's now starring in the West End.  

The arrogant but gifted lead singer of The Commitments is Deco, to be played by Killian Donnelly, who has previously appeared in The Phantom of the Opera and in both the film and stage production of Les Miserables.

The Commitmentettes, Dublin’s answer to The Supremes, are to be played by three young Dublin girls, all making their West End debuts – Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi.

Playing the senior musician in the group, the spiritually inspired trumpet player extraordinaire, Joey "The Lips " Fagan, is Ben Fox.

Playing Jimmy Rabbitte’s father is Sean Kearns, who has starred in Alan Parker’s film "Angela’s Ashes" and the BBC’s "Ballykissangel."

The Commitments has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning Doyle, from his original novel. It will be directed by Jamie Lloyd, and features classic soul songs including "Think" by Aretha Franklin, "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by The Temptations, "Night Train" by James Brown, "In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett and "Try A Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding.

In a press statement, Doyle commented, "I've been sitting in rehearsals, watching these terrific young people becoming The Commitments. I'm hearing them sing; I'm watching them play their instruments – and it all makes me very happy and excited. What amuses me most is the fact that only one of them was born when I wrote the novel."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4656 or visit www.thecommitmentslondon.com.