They’ve Got Soul!
Naomi MacKay watched The Commitments at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre – running until Saturday 4 February.
If you’ve enjoyed the original film of The Commitments, you’ll already be expecting a line-up of fabulous soul music from this stage musical version.
There’s more than 20 soul classics included on stage including: Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, River Deep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Save Me, Mustang Sally, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Reach Out, Uptight, Knock On Wood, and I Can’t Turn You Loose.
But while the film, set in working class north Dublin in the 1980s is pretty gritty, and littered with Dublin expletives, the stage offers a more lighthearted take, picking up on the film’s comic side. Not to spoil it, but you can also expect a happier ending!
The show follows Jimmy’s (James Killeen) bid to create a band from a ragtag crew of singers and musicians. By day they work in run-of the-mill jobs – at the butchers, or in a factory – but can he turn them into a soul-filled ensemble – and get them signed to a record label?
He’s joined in his bid by Trumpet player Joey The Lips (Stuart Reid), who reckons he’s played with most of the soul greats – but seems more intent on hooking up with the band’s three female vocalists…
The talented cast prove they can sing and play well – but it’s the non-band member who really stole the show. Mickah (Ronnie Yorke) is an unpredictable skinhead, who is brought on board to provide security at the show. He brings along some fabulous comic moments, as well as some extra drama – and ultimately proves he also has a secret talent…
With so many fabulous songs in the show, the finale encourages the audience up on their feet for a mini concert. Singing and dancing to some of those soul classics certainly added some joy to a cold January Monday evening!
Don’t forget some change for the collection at the end of the show. Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is supporting Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research (SMSR) in its 10th anniversary year. Collections for charity during the recent panto season raised £16,000, so it shows that every bit helps!
Tickets are available at: www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (bkg fee) or call 0844 871 7615 (Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge).
Image: Commitments L-R Eve Kitchingman, Michael Mahony, Ciara Mackey, James Killeen, Sarah Gardiner, Conor Litten, Guy Freeman, Ian McIntosh – Credit Ellie Kurttz