Who are you playing?
I’ll be playing the part of Jimmy Rabbitte, the band’s manager.
Do you have a particular affinity with The Commitments?
I was a fan of the movie for years. My older brother was a big fan of the film when it came but I was a bit young at the time I suppose. I wasn’t even alive actually (laughs).
What is your background?
I’m a musician myself, even though I don’t get to play in the show. The band scene is something I’ve always been really into. I grew up in Donegal, in the north of Ireland, but I spent four years in Dublin at University studying Law. I was seventeen when I went to college and even though I’d always been pursuing acting I wasn’t sure if I wanted to move to London to start training. It was my idea to study Law, because apparently you have to be a good actor to be a good lawyer. So I did that for four years, graduated, and then by the end of it I thought I was ready, having involved myself with musical societies and drama societies around Dublin.
I then applied to Central School of Speech & Drama, in London, trained there for a year – I’m actually finishing my dissertation at the moment. It’s great to be working straight away, and in such an amazing production.
Tell us a bit about your character.
Jimmy is the band’s manager but sometimes I feel sorry for him as he’s the guy on the sidelines, even though he’s really at the heart of it all. I do feel for him especially being a singer myself and a musician. Looking around me and seeing all these amazing talented singers and musicians playing away, he’s the one who has to step aside and let it all happen. Without him – and I think you can see that in the show – things can fall apart, he really is the cog of the works. He’s a bit of a wheeler dealer… I think everybody knows a character like Jimmy – he could convince you of anything which is a great trait to have. It’s really exciting to get to play him.