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Dublin 1987 here we come! ‘The Commitments'

It is always an exciting treat visiting the GOH, who doesn't love a good musical. Last night the theatre was packed with people ready to be transported to yesteryear and relive their youths, keen to hear the many songs that shaped their childhoods.

Those who never seen the movie are probably wondering what it's all about, well it follows a group of amateur musicians who come together to perform working-class soul music, under the supervision of Jimmy Rabbitte (James Killeen) – that is pulled together through friendship, advertisements and even questionable auditions at Jimmy’s own front door!

We witness the rollercoaster journey the group take, from performing in community centres to being offered the opportunity to record a song – with all the romance, arguments and fighting in-between.

Each performer had their own gifted skill set, including the frontman of the group, portrayed by Ian Mcintosh. Not only did he have incredible vocals as he led the majority of the classic hits, but he also embodied the wayward nature of the character Deco perfectly.

Imelda (Ciara Mackey), was the girl all the guys wanted, her vocal abilities and perfect harmonies added extra depth. Natalie (Eve Kitchingman) and Bernie (Sarah Gardiner) also had their own moments front and centre and they did not disappoint, bringing power and passion as they covered some iconic numbers – Aretha Franklin’s ‘Think’ was a particular favourite.

Nigel Pivaro may be a familiar face to some, swapping his legendary role as Terry Duckworth on Coronation Street to play the supporting role of Jimmy’s Da and the stubborn caretaker. You could tell he was a crowd favourite during the curtain call!

It wasn’t just the cast and their many talents that were enjoyable to watch, the set was extremely impressive as it transported us around Dublin – from rehearsals in a garage to their two-floor home, it made use of every inch of the stage.

Deco the bad boy that you couldn’t help woo over was fantastic. Played by Ian McIntosh..... FAB-U-LOUSSSS. With all the Motown favourites being performed with a brand new twist to them.

Jimmy the bands manager had us believing in the band from the get go and although already knowing the ending the cleverly written stage production even managed to make it feel like the first time we’ve ever seen or heard of ‘The Commitments’. Massive feel good factors that ran the whole way through the show and again the music and lighting really bought it to life. Be prepared to laugh, sing and and dance the night away with this show.

This show is definitely one not to be missed. From sound & lighting, to acting, singing & bringing the true vision of the soul loved film to life. Credit to the soul legends of the past, made to feel alive in Belfast tonight.

From curtain up, until the encore, our feet were tapping, thanks for an amazing night. I really can not wait to be back and watch it again...Like us you will struggle not to sing along and with the electric atmosphere we were itching to get up and dance

‘Try a little tenderness’ and get booking your tickets via this link - The Commitments - Grand Opera House (, or call the Box Office on 028 90 241919. The show runs until Saturday 25th February.



It is 35 years since The Commitments first burst from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel. The world’s hardest working and most explosive soul band are set to return in an all-new stage production, kicking off a huge nine-month tour opening in Bromley in September. The show will then tour across the country before culminating in Brighton in July 2023.

This major UK and Ireland tour of the smash-hit musical will star Coronation Street legend Nigel Pivaro, who appeared in the hugely popular ITV soap between 1983 – 2012 as the lovable rogue Terry Duckworth. He will be swapping the cobbles for the stage and performing the role of ‘Da’ in this all-new production.

This new tour for 2022/23 is directed by Andrew Linnie. Andrew made his West End debut in the original production in 2013, playing the role of Dean, the band’s sax player. He then went on to star in the lead role of Jimmy Rabitte in the 2016/2017 UK tour.

Joining the cast as Deco is Olivier Award nominee Ian McIntosh. Ian is no stranger to this role, having previously played Alternate Deco during the original West End run. Previous credits include Galileo in the UK tour of We Will Rock You, Sid Worley in An Officer and a Gentleman and he was Olivier nominated for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Musical’ for his role as Barry in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. His extensive musical career has also seen him perform in Hair and Can’t Buy Me Love.

Other casting includes James Killeen as Jimmy, Stuart Reid as Joey, Ciara Mackey as Imelda, Michael Mahony as Oustpan, Ryan Kelly as Billy, Conor Litten as Dean, Guy Freeman as Derek, Stephen O’Riain as James, Ronnie Yorke as Mickah, Eve Kitchingman as Natalie, and Sarah Gardiner as Bernie. Maryann Lynch, Alice Croft, James Deegan, Callum Martin, Joshua Barton, Ed Thorpe and Colm Gleeson make up the ensemble.

The Commitments musical has been adapted from the novel by Booker prize-winning author Roddy Doyle. Featuring an electric playlist, The Commitments showcases more than 20 soul classics performed live on stage, including Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, River Deep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Save Me, Mustang Sally, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Reach Out, Uptight, Knock On Wood, I Can’t Turn You Loose and many more!


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