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REVIEW: The Commitments (UK Tour)

Updated: Jan 23

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

5 December 2022


The Commitments UK Tour 2022

Based on the Roddy Doyle book of the same name, The Commitments is the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a working class music lover from the north side of Dublin, and the struggles he has putting together and keeping together a soul band.

The cast and the music in The Commitments are great. There are over 20 1960's soul classics performed live, and they are classics for a reason!

We start with 'Proud Mary', one of my all time favourites, and then hit after hit takes us through the narrative.

As a piece of musical theatre though, there isn't much else to the show. The plot is minimal - people join the band, people leave the band - that's it really. The character development is sparse.

The Commitments UK Tour 2022

It's a shame because I would've loved to have known more about the band members, their lives and their situations. The 3 girls for example are excellent singers and obviously have a bit of sass about them, but we don't get to know them at all.

When two of the characters get together with a bang at the end of the show, it kinda comes out of the blue. It's an odd ending and feels forced. But the band does self-combust, so I get the need for some kind of positive endnote.

But! After that ending we get the encore - The Commitments live on stage performing 4 or 5 full numbers. This is arguably the best part of the show. It's a mini concert and the songs are epic. I particularly enjoyed 'River Deep Mountain High', and ending on 'Try a little tenderness' is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

The Commitments UK Tour 2022

There was a jubilant reception from the sold-out audience and I can see why this show has been so successful and tours time and again.

If you are a fan of the 60s music or of the film, there is much to enjoy here. The North Dublin slang and humour is hilarious throughout (everyone is a bollox). And the scene with the auditionees turning up at Jimmy's house in Act I is a delight.

Most importantly, the cast seem like they're having a ball. It must be like playing on stage with a rock band every night!


The Commitments plays at The Theatre Royal Glasgow until 10 December and then tours the UK.

[Review first posted on Instagram 6 December 2022]

The Commitments UK Tour 2022

🎵 REVIEW: The Commitments (UK Tour) 🎸

🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.

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Lisa in the Theatre, UK Theatre blogger, reviewer

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