facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Following official government advice theatres are currently closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus. For more information on cancelled performances click here.
Jamie Lloyd and Roddy Doye at the launch of The Commitments

Jamie Lloyd and Roddy Doye at the launch of The Commitments

Lloyd directs Doyle’s The Commitments

First Published 23 April 2013, Last Updated 24 April 2013

Jamie Lloyd will direct a new stage version of Roddy Doyle’s much-loved The Commitments at the Palace theatre this summer, more than 25 years after the Booker Prize-winning writer’s acclaimed book was published.

Previews of the soul music-packed show will begin on 21 September with all tickets half-price until the production opens on 8 October. Following the cut price period, The Commitments will continue its aim of making the show as inclusive as possible offering more than 10,000 tickets for its initial one year booking period for just £10.

Telling the story of Jimmy Rabitte, a young working-class music fan who shapes an un likely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, The Commitments, which was made into a successful film in 1991, charts the tale of an unlikely soul band from hopeful auditions to its near end when the backing singers are all getting off with the middle-aged horn legend, the singer has entered the Eurovision Song Contest and the saxophone player is veering into dangerous jazz territory.

Director Lloyd and Doyle, who has written the book for the stage production and described himself as “giddy” to be bringing the story to the theatre, were on hand to offer more details about the show at a press launch held at the Palace theatre today.

Lloyd, whose most recent show Macbeth plays at the Trafalgar Studios as part of his Trafalgar Transformed season until Saturday, compared his role on the production so far to that of the lead character Jimmy Rabitte, saying: “I’ve always wanted to be in a band and actually this [directing the show] is, in a way, the next best thing. I quite like the idea of, like the character of Jimmy Rabitte, being a manager of this band in rehearsals in many ways, and that’s what it has felt like in casting.”

The casting process has involved seeing “literally thousands” of potential cast members, resulting in a mix of “new, fresh and exciting talent”, with many of the company making their West End debuts and aged under 21. Speaking about the importance of the fact that around three-quarters of the cast will be from the show’s native Ireland and all are talented musicians, Lloyd said: “We’re talking about genuine raw talent, and I think that’s really exciting. When Phil McIntyre, the producer, was talking to me about it, he said that that’s what he wanted. He didn’t want a white washed polished version, a West End or musical version, it needs to have all the honesty and integrity of the novel, and I think that’s what we’re pulling off in terms of casting.”

Commenting on the show’s dynamic pricing, the director said he had been inspired by his season at the Trafalgar Studios, which offers tickets for £15 every Monday, saying: “At the Trafalgar it’s really exciting to see a real diverse audience and it gives a whole new energy to the building and certainly I would love to see a younger crowd discovering this music, many of them I guess for the first time, because it is sensational stuff. I come from a low income background, a lot of my family have never seen any of my productions, so in a way it’s brilliant as a show that celebrates the working classes to say ‘come on, it is available to all and you’re welcome’ and hopefully it won’t feel like what they perceive – and certainly a lot of families might perceive – as being a stuffy, formal experience, it can be as exciting as going to see any kind of rock gig.”

While the story famously features many well-known soul songs, the line-up of popular tunes to be included in the stage show is still to be confirmed, although members of the press were today assured that Mustang Sally will definitely be included in the final set list.

Also announced today was the creative team that joins Lloyd and Doyle in the company. Lloyd’s regular collaborator designer Soutra Gilmour will be joined by lighting designer Jon Clark, choreographer Ann Yee, sound designer Rory Madden and musical supervisor Alan Williams.

The Commitments will open at the Palace theatre following long-running musical Singin’ In The Rain’s planned closure on 9 June and Derren Brown’s return to the London stage, Infamous, which plays a limited season from 24 June to 17 August.


Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.