Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments" finally made into musical

Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:50pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - Irish author Roddy Doyle's bestselling novel "The Commitments" is finally being made into a musical, more than 25 years after the heartwarming tale of a group of aspiring soul musicians was first published.

The Booker Prize winner's 1987 story about young working class Jimmy Rabbitte's efforts to form the "finest soul act in Dublin" became a hit film in 1991, but Doyle said he turned down a flood of requests to adapt it into a musical at the time.

"So I kind of ignored it for years and then as my children got older and I began to bring them to the occasional musical ... I began to enjoy a lot of it," 54-year-old Doyle told reporters at a press launch for the musical on Tuesday.

The musical, which Doyle himself has penned, will preview at London's Palace Theatre starting on September 21.

Doyle said musicals such as "Jersey Boys", "Billy Elliot" and "The Producers" captured his imagination and kindled his interest in bringing "The Commitments" to the stage.

"'Jersey Boys' I found very inspiring because I loved the way the music actually drove the story, it wasn't just story followed by a song followed by story," Doyle said.

Tickets for the previews will be half price at 5 pounds ($7.62) each and more than 100,000 tickets for the initial one-year booking period are priced at 10 pounds.

Most of the cast members for a show that will be packed with classic soul songs from the film such as "Mustang Sally" were not even born at the time the novel was set - 1986. Director Jamie Lloyd was only about six at the time.   Continued...

Writer Roddy Doyle, Author of "Oh, Play That Thing" photographed at the Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan, November 8, 2004. REUTERS/Mike Segar