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BBC Radio 4 to air The Commitments

The cast of The Commitments. Photo: Sean Conroy.
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Roddy Doyle’s book The Commitments is to be adapted for BBC Radio 4 as part of a week of programming celebrating the Irish author’s work.

The Commitments, which is being recorded in a pub in Dublin, will feature songs performed by Irish band the Riptide Movement and is being directed by Jim Sheridan, whose credits include the films My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father.

It will be broadcast in December, followed by adaptations of Doyle’s The Snapper and The Van. Collectively, the three books are known as the Barrytown Trilogy, which Radio 4 drama commissioner Jeremy Howe said were “as iconic to Dublin as James Joyce’s Ulysses”.

Howe said: “Roddy Doyle has come back into the frame. With Radio 4 doing these adaptations, The Commitments running in the West End, and the publication of his new book, The Guts, Roddy has found his moment in the sun again.”

He added: “It’s curious that he disappeared for a bit, but it’s great that he’s getting the profile. He is one of the great Irish writers, without a doubt.”

The adaptations, which will be spread over a week in December, will be preceded by a special Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 celebrating The Commitments.

Radio 4’s adaptation will feature Damien Molony, who featured in BBC3’s Being Human series, and Colm Meaney, who is best known for his long-running role in the Star Trek television series. It has been adapted by Eugene O’Brien.

Casting for the The Snapper and The Van has not been announced. Radio 4 will also adapt The Guts for broadcast next year.

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