"Betcha U2 are shittin' themselves"
Booker Prize-winning Irish writer Roddy Doyle is turning his novel THE COMMITMENTS into a major West End musical, 23 years after it was first published. The show is set to debut at London's Palace Theatre in October 2013, following the exit of Singin' in the Rain which goes on tour.
THE COMMITMENTS musical will differ from the iconic film in that it will be exclusively based on Doyle's original book. Casting director David Grindrod said “[The author] is taking it right back to the roots again.”
London producers were thrilled with the turnout for open auditions, held 10-11 March at Troubadour Rehearsal Studios on Richmond Road in the Irish capital. Speaking to The Irish Times, Grindrod revealed a list of potentials had already been invited to the next stage of auditions, adding, “We came here in search of authenticity and we've found it.”
Roddy Doyle first wrote and self-published the novel in 1987 while working as a Dublin schoolteacher. THE COMMITMENTS – the first part of The Barrytown Trilogy – is about a group of unemployed Dubliners who form a soul band. As egos clash, the group must fight to keep from falling apart.
Four years later Alan Parker directed the 1991 film, with Doyle collaborating on the screenplay with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. THE COMMITMENTS won four BAFTAS, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Featuring such classics as "Mustang Sally", "Chain Of Fools" and "Try A Little Tenderness" the hit movie also launched the careers of Glen Hansard, Maria Doyle-Kennedy, Angeline Ball and Andrea Corr.
Rehearsals begin in August, with Olivier Award-winner Jamie Lloyd set to direct. His theatre credits include Macbeth starring James McAvoy (Trafalgar Studios), Piaf, Passion (Donmar Warehouse), The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic), She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre), The Pride (Royal Court) and Three Days of Rain (Apollo).
Stay tuned for further news, casting updates and ticket information for THE COMMITMENTS musical!