Corrie legend to star in Peterborough-bound musical The Commitments

See The Commitments at Peterborough New Theatre between May 15-20.

By Brad Barnes
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 12:06 pm
The Commitments.
Photo: JOHAN PERSSON
The Commitments. Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

It is 35 years since The Commitments first burst from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel - and now the world’s hardest working and most explosive soul band are set to return in an all new stage production that is heading for Peterborough.

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.

The Commitments tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working-class music fan, who transforms an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, which becomes the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced.

The Commitments will star Nigel Picaro credit Johan Persson

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    Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the members of his new band, which he names ‘The Commitments’.

    Humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, grappling with inter-group differences as they muddle their way through early rehearsals for the band’s first gig.

    Just as they improve and begin to get a name for themselves, they combust.

    The backing singers are more interested in the middle-aged horn playing legend, the singer has entered Eurovision, the drummer has walked out mid-gig and the saxophone player has dangerous leanings towards a jazz career.

    The Commitments Credit Johan Persson

    Expression in Motown style

    Nigel says: “I am thrilled to be marking my return to the stage in this production of The Commitments. It’s an iconic story that resonates across the years, about people who though distant from the music’s origins find communion and expression in the Motown style.

    "A musical genre which was borne out of oppression and which the characters embrace as their own.

    "The Motown Sound is as vibrant today as it was when it first burst through in the Sixties.”

    Roddy Doyle added: “I’m delighted that The Commitments are coming back in 2022 and 2023 and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how Nigel Pivaro tackles the part of Jimmy Rabbitte’s Da.”

    This new tour for 2022/23 is directed by Andrew Linnie, who 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.

    The Commitments musical 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, Reach Out, Uptight, Knock On Wood and more