The Commitments Review, Manchester

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Last night we spent a couple of hours wrapped in memories of a much-loved movie and my favourite movie soundtrack ever, watching The Commitments UK Tour at the Opera House Manchester. It’s tricky when you are watching a show that resonates with a massive part of growing up, as it has to touch that chord and take you back to those memories. And spoiler, The Commitments did so spectacularly.

Review the Commitments Photo©EllieKurttz_The Commitments_Tour2022_PRO_068_Large

The Commitments UK Tour Review, Manchester

About the Commitments

Released in 1991, “The Commitments” is a musical comedy-drama film directed by Alan Parker and based on Roddy Doyle’s novel. The story revolves around a group of working-class musicians from Dublin, Ireland, who unite to form a soul band called “The Commitments.”

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With a cast predominantly composed of lesser-known actors, the film effectively captures the authentic vitality and essence of the characters. It serves as a testament to the unifying force of music, showcasing how it can bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the movie offers a humorous and heartfelt exploration of dreams, ambition, and the pursuit of fame.

The film gained widespread praise from critics for its dynamic performances, unforgettable soundtrack, and genuine depiction of Dublin’s music scene.

Following its cinematic success, “The Commitments” successfully transitioned to the stage. The stage adaptation premiered at London’s West End in 2013. This theatrical production revitalizes the music of “The Commitments” through live performances of beloved soul classics.

Commitments tour Review Photo©EllieKurttz_The Commitments_Tour2022_PRO_047_Large

My Review of The Commitments

The initial buildup is slow and somewhat peculiar, leading you to question whether you will truly embrace this production. However, I believe this deliberate pacing is intended to set the stage for the following explosive impact—a resounding declaration that “We are The Commitments.” The force behind it is undeniably potent.

Deco, portrayed by Ben Morris, proves to be a captivating character who gradually grows in strength throughout the performance. Initially, there may be doubts about whether Deco’s voice is up to the task, but suddenly, it erupts with the commanding power necessary for such a role. The effect is simply magnificent.

Photo©EllieKurttz_The Commitments_Tour2022_PRO_286_Large

The entire cast possesses remarkable voices and talent, forming an ensemble that is nothing short of phenomenal. The girls—Imelda (Ciara Mackey), Bernie (Sarah Gardiner), and Natalie (Eve Kitchingman)—serve as the glue that weaves the narrative together. At the same time, we eagerly anticipate the growth and development of the band. And indeed, they transform into something truly extraordinary.

The set design was brilliant, striking a perfect balance between simplicity and effectiveness. I was particularly enthralled by the ingenious transformation of balconies into bedrooms with a swift flip. It seamlessly complemented the gritty nature of the story, enhancing the overall experience.

The performance was nothing short of stunning. Every track performed was fabulous, and the audience’s energy was infectious. It’s challenging to pick a standout favourite from such an outstanding repertoire. However, silence fell over the crowd during the rendition of “Try A Little Tenderness.” Even though everyone was on their feet, everything came to a standstill. It was a profoundly moving moment. Did The Commitments deliver? Yes, on every level, I loved every minute.

Photo©EllieKurttz_The Commitments_Tour2022_PRO_055_Large

Where can I see The Commitments UK Tour

The Commitments is at the Opera House Manchester until Saturday 10th June with tickets from £13.00. 

Then on tour at the following locations. 

  • READING The Hexagon, 13 – 17 Jun
  • LEEDS Grand Theatre, 19 – 24 Jun
  • NEWCASTLE Theatre Royal, 26 Jun – 01 Jul

I was gifted the tickets in return for an honest review. And you can’t argue with voices and talent to that level. See here for more theatre reviews.

Review the Commitments Tour Manchester Opera House Photo©EllieKurttz_The Commitments_Tour2022_PRO_056_Large
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Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.

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