At the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this October
It’s the Roddy Doyle classic and a film which we’ve all seen more than once – admit it, you know you have!
Fresh from a record-breaking two year run in London’s West End, this October The Commitments will make it’s Irish debut and we’re more than a little excited.
We got to sit down with the cast to chat about originality, playing for an Irish crowd and making the best of a bad situation …
The book and the film are so well-known; did you find it hard to separate the two from your individual performances?
The show is great in that it takes the best bits of the book and the film, mixes them together and makes it work for stage. Because the film is so iconic, it’s obviously affected us all and we couldn’t help but be aware of that, although at the same time we’ve had the chance to find new things in the show and not just make the characters our own, but to explore the characters further.
Roddy adapted the story for the stage; how has his input helped?
It’s intimidating because you have somebody who created these characters that everyone knows and loves and someone who’s had such massive impact on Irish literature and film, and on the world! But he’s also such a nice guy, so unassuming and quiet and it’s great to have that asset in the room. To be able to pick his brains or say to him Roddy ‘what did you mean by this?’ or ‘what’s your intention there?’ is great.
Was the response to the show in London what you expected it to be?
Yeah! And it’s surprising because they could have toned down the language and not made it as ‘Dublin’ and ‘Irish’ as it is, but they didn’t. They kept it true to the book and the film and didn’t shy away from it. The responses were amazing, even from crowds that might not have been as familiar with the story. I think that’s down to how well it’s written and also the music; the international language of that is incredible. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, you can’t help but be swept along by that music, it’s just infectious.
Are you beginning to feel the pressure of bringing the show to Dublin?
Definitely, but it’s a good pressure though. It’s so lovely to know that these audiences care, so you want to do it right. We’re bringing the story back to where it was born; you want to take care of those characters because they were created for a reason.
Will we get to hear any of our favourite lines from the film?
Quite a few; it’s not word for word identical to the film, but if you have a favourite line it’s probably in there.
Which song or songs, do you always get a good reaction from?
‘Keep Me Hanging On’ is like a good 80’s montage and ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, just because it’s electric. It’s always an incredible moment on stage for everyone and just like the icing on the cake.
Have you had a favourite or a stand-out moment so far?
What I’ve loved is how natural it has all been. Normally the first week of rehearsals you’re easing yourself in to part; we’re playing a bunch of young people from Ireland who love playing music. We are a bunch of young people from Ireland who love playing music so it’s almost like there’s an element of familiarity to it because we’re reflecting the people that we’re portraying.
It’s a timeless story …
It’s a snapshot in time of Ireland going through an economic crisis in the 80’s with the poverty and unemployment, and unfortunately we’ve found ourselves back in those times now. It’s always relative to something; it’s a group of positive people trying to change their lives and make the best of a bad situation.
The Commitments will play the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from Wednesday 12 – Saturday 29 October 2016. Tickets on sale now through Ticketmaster. For more info visit: www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie