Casting announced for Roddy Doyle's The Commitments

Casting announced for Roddy Doyle's The Commitments

Updated On: May 1, 2018
  • Related Shows

    New musical THE COMMITMENTS has announced casting ahead of its 8 October world premiere, with previews beginning 21 September at the London's Palace Theatre. The majority of this young, pre-dominantly Irish cast will take to the West End stage for the very first time.

    Making his stage debut, the lead role of band manager Jimmy Rabbitte will be played by Denis Grindel – a Dubliner who's still finishing his dissertation at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

    Grindel joins previously announced musical theatre star Killian Donnelly, as the arrogant but gifted lead singer Declan "Deco" Cuffe. His West End credits include The Phantom Of The Opera, Billy Elliot The Musical and Les Misérables – having appeared in the legendary stage production, the award-winning 2012 film and the 25th Anniversary Concert at London's O2 Arena.

    The Commitmentettes – Dublin's answer to The Supremes – are to be played by three young Dublin girls, Sarah O'Connor (as Imelda Quirke), Stephanie McKeon (as Natalie) and Jessica Cervi (as Bernie). O'Connor was a finalist on RTE's Fame – The Musical alongside fellow cast member Jessica Cervi, who won the hit TV show competition.

    Having adapted the script from his original novel, Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle said: “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.”

    Ben Fox will play born-again Christian and trumpet wizard, Joey “The Lips” Fagan (whose nickname derives from more than just his trumpet-playing skills). His credits include Backbeat and The Midnight Hour, as well as the TV shows Holby City, Casualty and Men Behaving Badly.

    Mark Dugdale makes up the second half of the rhythm section as Derek. Having originally took part in the earliest workshops for THE COMMITMENTS a few years back, his theatre credits include We Will Rock You, Les Misérables and Chicago.

    Playing Jimmy Rabbitte's father is Sean Kearns, who has starred in The 39 Steps, Alan Parker's film Angela’s Ashes and the BBC’s Ballykissangel.

    Brian Gilligan plays increasingly disgruntled drummer Billy, who goes head to head with frontman Deco. His credits include The Wizard of Oz and Oklahoma! Making his West End debut, Andrew Linnie will play Dean, saxophonist extraordinaire. Joe Woolmer will play the bouncer-turned-drummer Mickah. His credits include The Blue Man Group in New York and Las Vegas.

    Matthew Wycliffe will play Outspan, lead guitarist. His theatre credits include Jersey Boys, Carnaby Street The Musical and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. The only member of the cast to come through the very first round of open auditions in Dublin, Padraig Dooney joins the Ensemble.

    THE COMMITMENTS will be directed by award-winning Jamie Lloyd of the recent ‘Trafalgar Transformed season at Trafalgar Studios (Macbeth with James McAvoy; The Hothouse with Simon Russell Beale and John Simm; and The Pride with Hayley Atwell).

    The saviours of soul, THE COMMITMENTS is packed with classic songs such as “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.

    Join the band... book your tickets for THE COMMITMENTS today!