The Commitments: Palace theatre

Passion is probably the strongest feeling that came through the most to the audience. The difference in the personality of band members was clearly demonstrated and the cast put on a spectacular performance.

I would like to congratulate the young cast in the show, many of whom have made their West End debut in the Commitments. These include Andrew Linnie, Padraig Dooney and Peter Mooney (as Derek in the performance I attended), who all put up some very good performances. Without a doubt, Brian Gilligan’s performance as Deco was the star of the show for me. Gilligan’s “a little tenderness” was simply marvelous.

The stage design was good and well suited to the purpose of individual scenes, but there were a large amount of scenery changes and the constant movement of large stage sets was to me, quite distracting. I have a feeling that a rotating stage might be an effective alternative to minimise the amount of props moved on and off stage to maintain the consistency of environmental layouts and avoid having numerous backstage members to move a large set off.

Joey (played by Anthony Hunt)’s iconic scooter has appeared a number of times throughout the musical (perhaps a little too much) and one can understand why it was used repeatedly. The scene where Joey rode into the room with the scooter seemed unnecessary to me and simply adds to the list of things to be moved on and off stage.

Although a minor issue that can be easily overlooked, at times the dialogue felt stagnant and did not provide enough force to propel the show along until the next song starts. There is a fair amount of spoken dialogues in this musical and from my point of view, the show would benefit from some degree of original musical pieces in place of the spoken conversations. The casts’ direct engaged with the audience was a wonderful addition to an already brilliant performance. Fortunately also, was the musical numbers were frequent and distributed evenly throughout the show, providing relief to the rather slow paced spoken lines.

Overall, well done to the cast of the Commitments. The passion from the cast came through very nicely in this extremely heated musical.

Overal score: 2.5/5

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