The Commitments UK Tour Review

The Commitments is quite simply a show about putting a band together that enjoy playing soul music. It’s a show that brings together working class Irish youngsters to showcase their talents and take Dublin by storm. But at its heart, it’s a show about unlikely faces nurturing talents and the highs and lows of forming and disbanding a band. It’s a show that celebrates musicians and is filled with laughs and has a killer soundtrack. 

Based on the best selling book and subsequent film by Roddy Doyle, The Commitments follows the story of Jimmy Rabbitte. Jimmy is a young band manager who curates the worlds hardest working band he knows “The Commitments”. In his journey to help this bank take the world by storm he must face quarrelling band dynamics, and huge egos to ultimately try and make this supergroup work. With love interests and differing of musical styles, the question isn’t how big they can get, it’s how long the band will last. 

Whilst the story isn’t the strongest, and might not potentially work brilliantly on stage, you cannot fault the songbook and effort that these actors put in on stage. With songs from the likes of The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner, you are spoilt for choice as you find yourself unknowingly tapping your toes and swaying in your seat. Each member of the band took to the stage to play the instrument they were assigned. I’m always blown away by multi-talented actors, but there is something about seeing those in a musical play the music as well as singing and acting that just blows me away. And this was one of those moments. No matter what any audience member thought of the show, you couldn’t deny the talent on stage. 

James Killeen was superb as Jimmy, taking the band from gig to gig with all matter of seriousness. Whilst Ciara Mackey impressed the audience as Imelda, the love interest of all the band members with a smooth voice to match her effortless charm on stage. We absolutely loved both Ian McIntosh as Deco and Ronnie Yorke as Mickah, with McIntosh serenading the audience with his voice and eventually being the downfall of the band, whilst Yorke brought the energy (and slight rabid crazy) as the skinhead punk who doubled as a bouncer. 

The Commitments is a show that has a dedicated audience that absolutely adore it. These actors know how to win over a crowd and when you have an audience that loves listening to the songs as much as the cast enjoy performing them, each show must be performed with ease! It’s an enjoyable night out for those that are familiar with the story, and those that don’t even know what it’s about. In the words of my friend “This show was 10x better than the film, can I see it again?”  

The Commitments runs until Saturday 1/4/23 at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton before continuing on a UK tour until July. You’ve heard it through the grapevine, it’s a show not to miss! 

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