The original members of the cast of 'The Commitments' are to reunite to mark the 20th anniversary of the hit film, it was announced today.
Glen Hansard, Bronagh Gallagher, Andrew Strong and Angeline Ball are among the big names reforming the popular soul band for a nationwide tour.
The group will perform a series of concerts for the first time next March, with shows planned in Castlebar, Killarney, Belfast and Dublin’s O2.
Robert Arkins – who played manager Jimmy Rabbitte who aspired to create the world’s greatest band from his north Dublin home – admitted he first ignored it when he heard someone was trying to get the cast back together.
“It became apparent pretty quickly that everyone was behind the idea, to mark off the occasion, so who was I to say no,” he added.
Directed by Alan Parker and based on the Roddy Doyle book, 'The Commitments' was released in 1991 and became one of the most popular films in history.
Promoters estimated more than 12 million people around the world have a copy of the movie soundtrack on either CD, video, DVD, through downloads or on bootleg.
Over the last two decades, most of the cast went on to have successful careers in acting or the music industry.
Tickets for the concerts go on sale next Friday, with a donation from every ticket going to the Irish Cancer Society. The cast hope to raise more than €30,000 for the charity.
Oscar-winning songwriter Hanard, who was then better known as his character guitarist Outspan Foster, went on to form his band The Frames.
He admitted he struggled with fame in the beginning and would not have been up for a reunion until now.
“I think we’ve all grown up and we’ve all gone off done our own things and it’s great to come back and say this is worth celebrating, it was a really good thing in our lives,” he said.
“They’re great songs and it’s great to be in a band playing those songs. Other than that it was a great experience and we all had a laugh.”
Backing singer Maria Doyle-Kennedy, now an actress based in LA, and musician Johnny Murphy – the famous Joey the Lips – will be missing from the line-up but are said to be supportive of the reunion.