Hanley’s Regent Theatre plays host to smash hit West End musical, The Commitments, based around a group of Irish musicians that want to put the soul back into Dublin.
After a late start on Monday due to technical difficulties, the production opens with a very energetic rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song, ‘Proud Mary’, which immediately grabs everyone’s attention as the performers jump up onto tables while belting out a tune almost everyone knows.
From here, the energy never stops, with every single cast member putting in their all through a large variety of high-octane musical performances which have audience members all around clapping and singing along.
There are many enjoyable moments, from the Irish accents, which I personally love, to the seamless flow of the storyline, which is impressive since there isn’t really a lot for them to work with in terms of the story.
It feels like they have taken a very basic concept and created something fresh and unique, producing a fun and lively atmosphere with only very limited dialogue.
Unfortunately several early jokes seem to fall flat, gaining either very few or no laughs. But the pace soon picks up and before long the majority of the audience are laughing along at the continuous reel of sweary jokes.
In this raucous party atmosphere the ending seems to appear out of nowhere. One moment, the band are performing ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ by The Temptations, and the next, the show has ended. It feels a little like spending a long time setting up a trail of dominos, only for the sensation of them falling down to last a few seconds.
All-in-all, though, the show is extremely enjoyable and there are some absolutely phenomenal levels of showmanship, especially in the band’s version of The Rolling Stones’ classic ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’.
This is certainly a show that you can have fun watching from the very start, and I would highly recommend anyone who hasn’t yet experienced it to give it a go!