“The Commitments”, the story of one Irish man’s dream to form a soul band in working class Dublin and originally a novel written by Roddy Doyle in 1987, became a runaway success in 1991 when it was made into a film.
At the time of its success, Doyle said that he turned down a flood of requests to adapt the story for the stage due to his dislike of musicals, telling reporters at a recent press launch:
"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 said. "And the female members stay and cry."
"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," Reuters reports.
Inspired by musicals such as Frankie Valli’s “Jersey Boys", Doyle found a new direction for “The Commitments”, Associated Press reveals:
"What I loved about it was, the songs were terrific, but the songs didn't interrupt the story and the story didn't interrupt the songs," Doyle said. "That, above all others, nudged me in the direction I wanted to go."
The musical is to be penned by Doyle himself, although he did not originallt intend it to be so. Reuters explains how the 54-year-old found himself answering his own questions while interviewing other candidates for the writing position and decided to try it himself,
"I kept it to myself and I went home and told my wife that I was thinking of doing the job myself and she said: 'you took your time'".
Doyle revealed that none of the cast of the 1991 hit film will be making a reappearance in the musical, "We're all mortal," he said, "and I think most of them accept the fact that they're lacking in hair." However, Doyle’s next novel, “The Guts”, due out in August 2013, will feature the return of the main character of “The Commitments”, Jimmy Rabbitte, as a 48-year-old man with bowel cancer.
The Booker Prize winning author says he finds it funny that most of the cast members for the new musical were not even born at the time that the novel is set in, while director, Jamie Lloyd was only 6-years-old.
Lloyd has revealed that the cast, who will be mostly Irish and younger than 21, will play their own instruments, however, Doyle has said that the soundtrack has yet to be confirmed because of "rights issues and experimenting with which songs are right for the story," AP reports.
The musical will preview at London’s Palace Theatre starting on September 21 and will officially open on October 8. Preview tickets will be half-price at 5 pounds each while the 100,000 tickets for the initial one-year booking period are priced at 10 pounds.
WATCH “THE COMMITMENTS” TRAILER (1991):
WATCH “Auditions held in Dublin for the musical version of The Commitments”: