The Commitments tells the story of an Irish band who cover numerous soul classics such as “I Heard It through the Grapevine”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m yours” and many more. Throughout the show you see the bands ups and downs and the joyful and dark times. The show is full of comedy and can guarantee to make you laugh.
Personally, I really enjoyed the show. I thought the production was well built from the story, to the set and to the songs that were used in this musical. However, what I really thought was good about the musical was that it had a live gig vibe. I felt like when they were performing I was at a gig watching them. The Commitments also included a lot of audience participation like a band would do at a gig for example, getting the crowd to clap along to the song or encouraging to clap louder.
The story is a big part of this musical. The singing on its own could be a show. However, adding the story of how the band forms and how they become successful really adds to the show. Each character shows how they can add to the band and they from there they all show their relationship and friendships with each other.
The cast in The Commitments are extremely talented with their singing and some that can play instruments. This for me is something that makes The Commitments a unique musical because members of the cast are playing the live music for the songs that are used in the musical. Usually, when back up vocalists are seen on stage no one really knows they are but in The Commitments that is flipped on its head. Any Penston (Natalie), Leah Penston (Imelda) and Christina Tedders (Bernie) create three roles that start as back up vocalists but end up being joint lead singers with Deco who is played by the talented and very funny Brian Gilligan. The three girls create a sassy, confident group that own the stage every time that they were present on stage.
Another member of the cast that really stood out to me was Andrew Linnie who plays Jimmy, The Commitments’ manager. Linnie brings across the character of Jimmy as a very confident and creative individual. With no experience in managing a band Jimmy is able to bring together a band that when you first look at them they seem like they are doing it for a laugh. However it turns out to be a different story.
The Commitments is a unique and fun musical which will have you out of your seats dancing and singing to some great soul classics from soul genres such as Motown, Funk, Modern Soul and many more. The West End musical will not fail to disappoint anyone that goes to see this musical, so don’t be one to miss this spectacular and hilarious show before it leaves Norwich.
The Commitments, Monday 28 November-Saturday 3 December at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets £8-£44. Discounts for Friends, Corporate Club, Under-18s and Groups. Audio-described and signed performance on Saturday 3 December at 2.30pm.
To book, log onto www.theatreoyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.