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Irish hit 'The Commitments' bound for London stage

April 23, 2013|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • Roddy Doyle's musical "The Commitments" will premiere at London's Palace Theatre.
Roddy Doyle's musical "The Commitments" will premiere… (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images )

More than 25 years after Roddy Doyle wrote "The Commitments," the bestselling book-turned-movie is bound for London’s West End.

The scrappy story about a group of down-and-out Dubliners who form a soul band will open on Oct. 8 at the Palace Theatre.

Doyle co-wrote the script for the 1991 movie of the same name, but was reluctant to adapt the story for the stage.

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In part because of "The Commitments’” on-screen success, and until he saw "Jersey Boys,” the novelist, well, didn't care for musicals.

"In the house I live in, if  'The Sound of Music' comes on, all the male members, including the dogs, stand up and walk out," he told the Associated Press. "And the female members stay and cry."

The musical, set in 1986 working-class Dublin, will feature a soundtrack of soul classics and a mostly 21-and-younger Irish cast.

Though the actors will play their own instruments, in a bid to keep the story’s raw energy previous stage experience isn’t a prerequisite.

"Many of them have never been in a play before,” director Jamie Lloyd told the Associated Press. "There are a couple who've never seen a play before."

And to keep the same youthful energy in the audience, 100,000 tickets at the first of the year will be offered at $15.

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