SPENDING money on theatre tickets, making the journey to the theatre and watching something for two-plus hours of your life is quite the commitment, but the latest musical to hit the Bristol Hippodrome stage is anything but. 

The Commitments is the story of a rag-tag group of Dubliners coming together to realise the dream of managing/being in a band, it's already a book by Roddy Doyle novel and it's already been adapted into an Alan Parker movie.

But the narrative and songs lend themselves well to a musical setting, especially with the imaginative staging that sees a living out emerge from a street backdrop and a drum kit pop out of the garage (even if there were some technical difficulties).

The story sees Jimmy Rabbitte attempt to propel himself forward by starting a band, and he eventually congregates together a plethora of different personalities to make the music happen. 

It's a classic rag-to-riches set-up but anyone familiar with the story will know things don't quite work out as idealistically as they might have in another different story and the clashing heads of the band members threaten to tear everything apart. 

Swindon Advertiser: The cast of the Commitments musicalThe cast of the Commitments musical (Image: Ellie Kurttz)

The songs - a greatest hits list of Soul classics - are mostly used to inform on the relationships between these characters as they attempt to navigate existing together, and Proud Mary, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, River Deep, Mountain High, and Mustang Sally all feature.

And, thanks to the musical setting, the story's propensity for bleakness is undercut slightly by the inherent cheeriness of musical theatre, making the show decidedly less gritty than it might have been, and indeed was in the book and film. 

Standouts include Ian Mcintosh as Deco, the Commitments' lead singer who was full of swagger and relatability and whose voice was incredible. Also great, was Jimmy's Da' who was played by none other than Coronation Street's Terry Duckworth, Nigel Pivaro, as a grounding influence.

Ultimately the Commitments is about a group of people who find an escape through music and see a path to a better life because of it. While the story may not end on a particularly happy note, the shoe itself does, with the Hippodrome becoming a gig venue and the Commitments doing what they do best - entertain. 

By the time Mcintosh had belted out Try a Little Tenderness the toe-tapping in the audience had become widespread, and the number of people still dancing as they left was a minor epidemic.