TAKE me to the river (and then a little bit further down to the Cliffs Pavilion in Westcliff)!

Yes, that famous Al Green song and a lot more classic soul numbers will all be part of the incredible hit show, The Commitments, kicking off on tour in autumn.

Tickets have now been released.

Coronation Street star Kevin Kennedy who played Curly Watts is to star as Jimmy's Da, Brian Gilligan, who originally played the role of drummer Billy 'The Animal' Mooney in the West End production, will now play Deco, and Irish actor Andrew Linnie will play Jimmy Rabbitte.

It's 30 years since The Commitments first burst from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel. The smash hit musical will begin at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 3 October, before opening in Dublin for the first time ever. It will then travel to theatres across the UK, stopping at Southend on May 1 - 6.

Since leaving Coronation Street, Kevin has regularly appeared in big stage theatre productions including: Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and We Will Rock You.

He said: “After working abroad, I am delighted to be returning to such an iconic musical as The Commitments. It is a pleasure to travel around the country playing to enthusiastic audiences who love this show.”

The show has been adapted for the stage by Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, from his original novel. Directed by C Jay Ranger, The Commitments is packed with more than 20 classic soul songs performed live on stage.

Roddy said: “The Commitments were born in Dublin, moved to London, and will soon be hopping all over the shop. I wrote the novel – invented the characters – in 1986, and it thrills me to think that they will be entertaining audiences throughout the UK and Ireland 30 years later, in 2016.”

If you're one of the few who don't know, The Commitments tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show follows the journey of two members of a frustrated synthesiser band – the opening scene has them playing, but ignored, in a shop window - who turn to Jimmy, the local music expert, for help.

Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the new line up who he names The Commitments. The humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, and proceed through early rehearsals for their first gig. Just as they improve and begin to get a name for themselves they combust. The backing singers are all getting off with the middle aged horn playing legend, the singer has entered Eurovision, the drummer has walked out mid-gig and the saxophone player has dangerous leanings towards a jazz career.

Visit southendtheatres.org.uk for booking information.

Prices go from £31.50 to £49.