Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Five reasons to watch Sing Street, our new go-to musical comedy


If you’re partial to a bit of Spandau Ballet, backcombed hair and a Dublin accent, look no further for your weekend’s entertainment than Sing Street.

Set in Dublin in 1985, this upbeat musical comedy - out in cinemas now - focuses on Conor Lalor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), a 15-year-old student from a rough senior school run by the Christian Brothers, who decides to pull together a band from a bunch of misfit classmates with the aim, of course, of impressing a girl.

But if the word ‘musical’ has you expecting a cheese-fest of dance numbers and cringe-inducing one-liners, think again.

Sing Street is packed full of witty dialogue (“No woman can truly love a man who listens to Phil Collins”) and a superb amalgamation of Eighties tunes which will have you walking home to the beats of Hall & Oates mulling over whether you’re ever really too old to start a band.

We caught up with actress Lucy Boynton (Miss PotterBallet Shoes) who plays the band’s muse, Raphina, to find out why Sing Street is set to be your newest guilty pleasure.

Bananarama will become your ultimate #fashioninspo

Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and Raphina (Lucy Boynton) outside the school gates

Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and Raphina (Lucy Boynton) outside the school gates

Sing Street – the name of the band inspired by the boys’ school Synge Street – dabbles with an eclectic range of Eighties musical influences, from the hypnotic romanticism of Duran Duran to Hall & Oates’ upbeat pop. But what’s more fascinating is the group’s fashion evolution.

If it’s not Conor’s Kajagoogoo blonde fringe, the band’s backcombed bouffants and Culture Club-inspired sunglasses, it’ll be Raphina’s Madonna-style hoop earrings and big hair that will have you searching for the nearest can of hairspray and rainbow-coloured bomber jacket.

Boynton says: “The costume department were born in the Eighties so they styled me from a lot of their experiences. I researched a lot about the fashion and music videos at the time to gauge the trends. My costume for Raphina was as much like Raphina’s costume for Raphina. She wears a lot of bold make-up and colourful costumes to give the impression she’s a confident, Debbie Harry-like character and in control of how people perceive her.” 

There are strong feel-good vibes

If One Direction existed in the Eighties...

If One Direction existed in the Eighties...

Director John Carney (writer-director extraordinaire of Oscar-winning romance Once and Begin Again) has scored a hat-trick with Sing Street, imbuing the film with the perfect balance of optimism as well as dealing with the harsher elements of the loss of childhood, broken dreams, poverty and family breakdowns.

“As a viewer, you appreciate the feel-good moments so much more, because John presents the darker, more poignant sides to characters’ stories,” Boynton says. 

“There’s never a need to glamorise problems. He has portrayed flawed humans with rough edges and weaknesses, which makes it much easier for the audience to relate to.”

It’s seriously hilarious

From the outset, Sing Street will have you quietly chuckling to yourself. For example, when Conor decides he wants to form a band, his older brother Brendan assures him that to be a great musician, you don’t need musical talent.

“You need to learn how to not play, Conor. That's the trick, that's rock 'n' roll. And that takes practice,” he says.

The film’s humour lies in the fact that it doesn’t try too hard to be funny. “All the jokes are incredibly nuanced. It’s the kind of humour that makes the audience feel like they’re listening into their private conversations. It’s very Irish,” says Boynton.

One of the funniest moments in the film is the shooting of the music video for the band’s first song The Riddle Of The Model - one of Boynton’s favourite memories from filming.

“It was my second day of filming and I just remember seeing [director] John Carney trying to teach [Walsh-Peelo, who plays Conor] Ferdia all of these awkward teenage dance moves from the Eighties. Seeing the two of them act it out together while the rest of the cast was dressed in cowboy getup and velvet suits was a very surreal moment,” she says. 

It's  authentic 

Conor and Raphina run off into the sunset

Conor and Raphina run off into the sunset

When you watch Sing Street, you can’t help notice how real it all seems. Similar to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Dazed and Confused, Carney specifically cast unknown actors in the film, which Boynton believes makes it all the more authentic.  

She says: “The first scene Ferdia and I filmed together was when our characters meet for the first time and Ferdia’s slight awkwardness really worked in that moment. It was his first time on a film set and his nervousness was really palpable.”


It has the Eighties soundtrack of your dreams

Conor channelling his inner Boy George

Conor channelling his inner Boy George

The film boasts an impressive soundtrack with iconic tunes from the likes of The Jam, Motörhead and The Cure, guiding not only the band’s musical taste but also the plot. Brendan is the mastermind behind the band’s revolution, allowing Conor to borrow from his impressive LP collection which serves as a musical education for the somewhat musically naïve 15-year-old. But it wasn’t just the characters who developed a penchant for Eighties beats.

Lucy says: “I’ve always been into Eighties music like The Cure but the film had a big impact on my musical tastes. I’d begin my days filming listening to Eighties music and then watch a lot of Duran Duran and Madonna videos to get a sense of the attitude at the time.”

Sing Street is in cinemas now

Watch the official trailer below


kate hudson.jpg

Fashion highlights from the week so far

susan sarandon.PNG

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

naomie harris.jpg

Fashion highlights from the week so far

hero katy perry amfAR's 23rd Cinema Against AIDS Gala Cannes Film Festival 2016.jpg

All the amazing fashion from Cannes Film Festival


Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes choose recycled name for their daughter

Cyndi Lauper Late Show James Corden Girls.jpg

Watch Cyndi Lauper nail a new version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Robin Wright Claire Underwood Frank House of Cards Kevin Spacey Equal Pay Gender Inequality.jpg

How Robin Wright fought for (and won) equal pay on House of Cards


Susan Sarandon: Thelma and Louise would never have been made today

flats cannes.jpg

Susan Sarandon wearing flats on the red carpet is a big win for women



These are the alcoholic drinks least likely to give you a hangover

Or, how to make the Christmas party season a bit more bearable.

by Moya Crockett
05 Dec 2016

How it feels to be a woman in America right now

"There is a sense of impending doom"

02 Dec 2016

Viewers slam Eamonn Holmes for ‘sexist’ treatment of GBBO's Candice

“He’s making me so uncomfortable – poor Candice”

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

The 12 surprising health benefits of mulled wine

Mulled wine, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Pensioner, 89, offered bar job after "stop me dying from boredom" ad

We love a story with a happy ending

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Bake Off fans, you can now apply to be on Channel 4’s GBBO

On your marks, get set, baaaaake…

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Inventor of new £5 note brands vegans “stupid” over animal fat debate

"It's stupid. It's absolutely stupid."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Dec 2016

Baby it’s Cold Outside has been given a feminist makeover

The troubling Christmas song has been transformed into an epic consent anthem

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

You’d be more productive if you could work from a café, study finds

Tell your boss.

by Moya Crockett
02 Dec 2016

The best low-alcohol swaps for your favourite beers, wines and spirits

Time for a booze-not-booze?

by Amy Swales
01 Dec 2016