Some of the West End’s leading Irish names, along with Irish Youth Musical Theatre, came together for Carousel’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, a weepie at the best of times!
The video features some of the West End’s leading Irish names, including David Shannon (Come From Away), Brian Gilligan (The Lion King), Jessica Cervi (The Commitments), Shane O’Riordan (Les Misérables), Alison Arnopp (Hair), Faoileann Cunningham (Amélie The Musical), Emma Warren (Les Misérables), Chris McGuigan (The Phantom of the Opera), Raymond Walsh (Les Misérables), Andrew Linnie (The Commitments), Caroline Kay (The Clockmaker’s Daughter), Brigid Shine (Angela’s Ashes), Claire O’Leary (Les Misérables), Molly Lynch (The Light In The Piazza) and Oisin Nolan (Rags).
It also features young Irish actors in training Niamh Long, Sarah McFarlane, Gavin Ryan, Fionan O Carroll, Eimear Friel, Enya Loughlin, with signing by Abbie O’Neill.
Jon Snow is dead. Isn’t he? I suspect there’ll be a twist in the tail as far as the newly started sixth series of Game of Thrones is concerned but for the meantime, Kit Harington is alive and kicking his way through this raucous reinvention of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus for The Jamie Lloyd Theatre Company.
“Why don’t you get out of my life and let me make a new start?”
Cast and crew members across the West End may not agree but I do find it surprising that more shows haven’t gone for the variation of Sunday evening performances in their schedules. Particularly with tourists, it’s a ready-made and captive audience with little else to do in this bustling city and by the looks of the Palace Theatre last night, keen as mustard. That said, it can be something of a trial going out on a Sunday night when a work-filled Monday morning is looming around the corner.
For me though, the chance to see The Commitments one more time before it closes its doors after a run that has lasted more than two years was enough to tempt me out and I’m glad I did as it really is good fun. Technically speaking, it is less of a musical than I would strictly consider, the narrative quickly gives way to a mini-concert at the show’s end but with music as good as this, and an actor-musician cast as talented as this, such crowd-pleasing antics feel entirely forgivable. Continue reading “Re-review: The Commitments, Palace Theatre”
In the ongoing search for the perfect recipe for a West End musical, The Commitmentshas done better than most since opening last October. Here, a hot-shot director (Jamie Lloyd) has been mixed with material that has already been a book and a film (written by Roddy Doyle, directed by Alan Parker) and tinkers with the jukebox format (using iconic US soul classics) to create an engaging piece of entertainment. The main surprise comes with how little story there actually is – the premise is simply that young gun Jimmy Rabbitte decides to put a band together and that is pretty much it.
So in place of narrative twists and turns, we get the slick movement of Soutra Gilmour’s ingeniously inventive set design; instead of depth of character, there’s a wide-ranging songbook which gives everyone a turn on the mike or a chance to rock out a solo and thus express themselves through music. It’s a curious interpretation which takes a little time to really gel, the opening 20 minutes or so struggles to make its mark as there’s little music and the surprising thinness of Doyle’s writing is at its most exposed – for all the time Jimmy spends in his house, his ma gets an appallingly small amount to say. Continue reading “Review: The Commitments, Palace Theatre”