Saturday 3 December 2016

Roddy Doyle dashes hopes for Commitments sequel as he pens new British TV show

Eimear Rabbitt

Published 09/03/2016 | 08:16

Roddy Doyle
Roddy Doyle

Legendary Dublin author Roddy Doyle has no plans to put pen to paper on a follow-up to his classic novel The Commitments.

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The book – about Dubliner Jimmy Rabbitte, who starts a soul band with a group of friends, was made into one of the most popular Irish movies of all time.

Johnny Murphy – who recently passed away – starred as Joey ‘The Lips’ in the film.

Doyle has since adapted the novel for the stage, with the musical version of The Commitments to premiere in Ireland next October.

Johnny Murphy: A veteran of stage and screen including his role as Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan in The Commitments.
Johnny Murphy: A veteran of stage and screen including his role as Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan in The Commitments.

However, The Booker Prize winner told the Herald that he has no plans for a direct sequel to the story about the fame-seeking band.

The Commitments was written as part of Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy, with The Snapper focusing on Jimmy Rabbitte’s sister Sharon, while third book The Van, follows dad Jimmy Sr.

“I wrote a novel called The Guts, which had some of the characters from The Commitments in their middle years,” Doyle said. 

“That’s the nearest thing I have written to a sequel, and the musical is coming in October.”

Johnny Murphy (centre, back row) with the stars of movie ‘The Commitments’ in 1991.
Johnny Murphy (centre, back row) with the stars of movie ‘The Commitments’ in 1991.

The musical version of The Commitments will open in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on October 12. It follows the show’s two-year run in London’s West End.

Doyle joked that he was glad the show won’t clash with his latest work, an adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The new translation by Doyle will make its world premiere as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Gaiety Theatre in early October. Tickets go on sale on March 16.

It’s his first opera. Doyle said that it took him a year to write the production, describing it as “an adventure”.

“It’s about putting the words on the page and hoping they fit with the music. The hope was that it would be produced, so it’s going ahead now which is great.”

He is currentlyworking on a new book in his kids series about a dog called Rover and also revealed that he is writing a TV show which has British funding.

“The money will be coming from Britain so I don’t want to talk about it too much now,” he said.

Herald

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