Robert Arkins

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Robert Arkins is an Irish musician and actor from Dublin,[1] known for his role as Jimmy Rabbitte, manager of the eponymous soul band, in the 1991 film The Commitments by director Alan Parker.[2]

A professional musician from the age of 15,[3] Arkins left school at 17 to front his band Housebroken.[1] He is a vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who counts piano, bass and trumpet in his repertoire.[1] With no prior acting experience, Arkins heard of the filming of The Commitments from his sister.[1] Following seven auditions, Arkins was cast as Declan 'Deco' Cuffe, the band's lead singer, but was replaced in that role after Parker discovered newcomer Andrew Strong.[4] Despite not featuring as a singer in the film Arkins did provide lead vocals for two tracks – Treat Her Right and Slip Away – on the accompanying soundtrack album.[5]

Following the release of The Commitments Arkins moved back into music and signed a record deal with MCA Records in 1993,[6] although he did not finish recording the consequent album.[7] He has composed and produced work for a number of commercial clients, television projects, and for two short films.[8] In 1998 he did briefly return to acting, in a short film entitled What Are You Looking At?[4] In 2011 Arkins joined many of his fellow cast members from The Commitments to perform a series of concerts across Ireland, to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary.[9] This was followed by three dates in the UK in 2012.


  1. ^ a b c d Wolf, Matt (9 August 1991). "Irish Robert Arkins finds fame after making his debut in movie". Reading Eagle. p. A-9. 
  2. ^ Gaffney, Caitriona (27 February 2011). "They shouldn't be calling themselves The Commitments Roddy Doyle's surprise blast: 'They're not a band, that was all just acting'". Mail Online. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Schoemer, Karen (18 August 1991). "A Film Pursues the Redemptive Power of Rock-and-Roll". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Kendall, Paul (29 September 2013). "Whatever happened to The Commitments?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD liner). The Commitments. Geffen Records. 13 August 1991. 
  6. ^ "Artist Profile: Robert Arkins". My Music Source. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Martin, Paul (26 November 2001). "Soul searching 10 years on". The Mirror. 
  8. ^ "Whatever happened to the other stars of the Commitments?". 3 February 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  9. ^ McHarrie, Emma (5 September 2011). "The Commitments Reunion Tour 2012". Click Liverpool. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 

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