Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Commitments to be made into musical

Author Roddy Doyle at the Palace Theatre where The Commitments musical will be staged
Author Roddy Doyle at the Palace Theatre where The Commitments musical will be staged

The Commitments is being adapted into a West End musical - more than 20 years after the writer behind the smash hit was first approached about bringing his creation to the stage.

Roddy Doyle said he was initially approached about making the musical at the height of the film's success but he was not interested at the time.

The movie, directed by Alan Parker and about a group of misfits who start an unlikely soul band in Dublin, was a huge success in 1991.

It was based on the 1987 book by Booker Prize winning Irish writer Doyle, who has adapted the new musical from his novel.

"The Commitments was something of a monster, particularly in Ireland... it was an immediate, huge success and at the time I think it was the most successful film ever released in Ireland," he said.

"There was immediate interest then in doing a musical. But I don't think I had ever been to a musical and the ones I'd seen on television had never really grabbed my attention much."

He added: "In the house I live in at the moment if The Sound Of Music comes on all the males, including the dog, stand up and walk out while the females stay and cry. It's the same if any of those musicals come on."

Doyle, 54, only decided to write the musical some time into the process when he began "answering my own questions" while interviewing other writers for the job.

"I didn't think they were going in the right direction. When I'm reacting like that it means I should do it myself. I told my wife 'I'm thinking I might have a bash at the script myself' and she said 'You took your time'."

The musical, which will feature songs such as Mustang Sally, opens at the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on October 8 with previews from September 21.

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