I hope that this time my interviewee will need no introduction. After he most kindly agreed to answer some questions for me whilst still in Billy Elliot, he once again allowed me to ask some more following his move to The Commitments, a brand-new show which has recently opened on the West End. I was curious about the production and Killian agreed to enlighten me. Please read on to find out more…
1. So, The Commitments. What is the show about?
K: The Commitments is about a group of kids living in Dublin, who in order to escape their working class lives become part of a soul band. The show reflects the bickering and self-destruction of the band. Nothing life changing but incredibly entertaining.
2. You play Deco. Who is he? Can you tell us more?
K: Declan Cuffe (Deco ‘The Soulman’) is a stubborn prick. He’s hated by everyone, but he doesn’t care because he has a gift. His voice. As the lead singer [of The Commitments] he becomes very cocky and big-headed and diva-like. I’ve just based him on people I’ve worked with (winks).
3. Did you have to do any special research to get into the role?
K: Not really. I’d read the book and seen the film numerous times.
4. Are there any similarities between you and Deco?
K: He’s a much better singer! (N: For anyone who has witnessed Killian, particularly as Deco, you will know that this could not be further from the truth)
5. As mentioned, the Commitments started as a book (by Roddy Doyle who wrote this production) and later became a film. How does the stage production compare?
K: The stage production is a combination of the book and the movie. We take the best of both. We always wanted to be our own entity, never a tribute act.
6. Was this a role you have always liked/wanted?
7. Which is your favourite track to perform and why?
K: Midnight Mover. It’s the first track we perform where The Commitments actually start to sound good. We’ve the craic on stage.
8. How were rehearsals?
K: Rehearsals were eight weeks in a hall in Kensington. Basically spent making the band sound brilliant when they needed to be and bloody awful when they should.
9. Do you have a favourite scene?
K: The audition sequence. It’s so quick and snappy with a great medley of songs. (N: It’s also very funny)
10. Why should everyone come to see it?
K: It’s a great play with great songs. You’ve honestly never seen anything like it. Plus we all love singing these songs.
And to finish – a few of my usual quick fire questions:
What is your favourite (non-Commitments) song? K: The Luckiest – Ben Folds
Where is your favourite place? K: Family home
If you were an animal which would you be and why? K: A sloth. I love to sleep.
Is there a little known fact about yourself that you’re able to reveal? K: I love apples.
What’s your favourite joke? Too rude to say.
What’s your favourite way to spend the day? In bed, relaxing with a cup of tea and a good flick. Bliss.
Thank you again to Killian for taking more time out, I am always so grateful to those who have. I hope that answering the questions wasn’t to much of a chore and I also hope that you all enjoy reading the interview. In case you missed it, you can read my original interview with him here: https://ignitedbyadream.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/killian-donnelly-answers/
Anyone wishing to find out my thoughts on, and more about The Commitments can read my review here (In short – amazing): https://ignitedbyadream.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/the-commitments-is-definitely-bringing-soul-to-the-people/
Official Theatre also conducted a recent interview with both Killian and his co-star Denis Grindel (who plays Jimmy Rabbite) which you can view here: www.youtube.com/embed/BPPqentk8H8 . Alternatively you can visit the officialtheatre.com website ( http://www.officialtheatre.com ) and book yourself some tickets – you won’t regret it.
The whole cast are simply brilliant and I think I laughed my way through the whole show. I cannot wait to get back there. I feel privileged to be able to have interviewed the man being hailed as “the star of the show” by many different reviews and I sincerely hope this show has a long run.