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The Commitments’ Sarah O’Connor, Jessica Cervi, Brian Gilligan and Natalie Hope at the This Morning Audience Award photoshoot (Photo: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features)

The Commitments' Sarah O'Connor, Jessica Cervi, Brian Gilligan and Natalie Hope at the This Morning Audience Award photoshoot (Photo: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features)

Oliviers Audience Award: The Commitments

First Published 20 February 2015, Last Updated 13 March 2015

What’s it all about?

Based on Roddy Doyle’s novel and its subsequent film adaptation, The Commitments sees humble working-class youths transform into compelling entertainers as they form a soul band and try to make the bigtime in Dublin.

Featuring all the best soul classics including Mustang Sally, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, a trip to the Palace Theatre promises a soul-packed evening of lively concert-style entertainment.

Casting coup

Irish musical theatre actor Killian Donnelly originated the role of Deco when the production opened in 2013. A West End veteran at the age of 30, Donnelly has appeared in many long-running shows that have made past and present Audience Award longlists including The Phantom Of The Opera, Les Misérables and Billy Elliot The Musical. He is currently starring alongside Beverley Knight in Memphis The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Fascinating fact

Brian Gilligan, who plays Deco in the production, was initially cast as drummer Billy ‘The Animal’ Mooney. In September 2014, The Commitments’ associate director C Jay Ranger was backstage at the Palace Theatre when she heard a raw and powerful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine coming from somewhere in the building. Intrigued, she followed the voice and found Gilligan, plugged into his headphones, lost in the moment that would later change his life. Gilligan has being playing the lead role ever since.

Olivier Awards history

This year’s This Morning Audience Award marks the first time that The Commitments has been up for an award at the prestigious ceremony. Could 2015 be its year? It’s up to you to decide.

They say…

“It feels absolutely fantastic [to be involved in this year’s This Morning Audience Award]. Audiences have come for the last year and a half now and they’ve shown so much support; they’ve been coming into the show really excited and leaving even more uplifted. They bring an energy to us and we bring an energy to them. It works both ways.

“The story [of The Commitments] is very special to me because I come from north Dublin, I’m from that part of the world, and for that to be translated on the West End stage in the way it has been is pretty exceptional.” The Commitments’ Brian Gilligan

We say…

You can’t not get no satisfaction – Save Me, too many double negatives – from this raw and gritty production from director of the moment Jamie Lloyd. The youngest new recruit in the This Morning Audience Award longlist, The Commitments is a fun night out offering all your favourite soul hits and a funny and touching tale that will leave you far from Uptight and more than Alright on the Night Train home.


The Commitments is booking at the Palace Theatre until 13 September. You can book tickets through us here.


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