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Memphis – The Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre

| Music, Theatre, Things to do, Venues | 03/11/2014

Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight as Huey and Felicia
Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight as Huey and Felicia

Tony-award winning musical Memphis opened in the West End last week, with Beverley Knight taking centre stage as Felicia, a struggling club singer in 1950s Tennessee. When budding-radio presenter Huey Calhoun discovers Felicia, it begins a musical revolution throughout America. Cue rock n roll, blues and jazz as Felicia and her brother prepare to take over the music scene.

Beverley Knight shines as the strong yet meek Felicia, Her range is untimely and her acting is more than believable. Knight proves once again, (following her stint in The Bodyguard) that her acting and vocal skills are worthy of a West End lead.

Killian Donnelly brings a sweet, awkward presence to the stage as Huey Calhoun, the radio presenter with the big personality. His voice, although nowhere near as big as Knight’s, still fills the room in a charming yet naïve manner.

Despite the two leads dominating the stage throughout the show, it’s surprisingly some of the minor characters that manage to deliver the best songs. Claire Machin as Huey’s racist mother takes charge during ‘Change Don’t Come Easy’ and Jason Pennycook creates laughs a-plenty when he performs ‘Big Love’.

The stage production works well, creating what would be a fifties Memphis, changing around a handful of times throughout the show, from the seedily-lit nightclub, to the bright lights of a television studio.

With an original-score composed by Grammy Award winner and Bon Jovi co-founder David Bryan, the twenty-one song Memphis soundtrack is extremely catchy and had the audience immersed in a standing ovation by the end of Friday night’s performance. Tickets for Memphis are on sale now, and are available from;

http://www.shaftesburytheatre.com/shows/memphis

 

Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight as Huey and Felicia

Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight as Huey and Felicia

Killian Donnelly and Rolan Bell as Huey and Delray

Killian Donnelly and Rolan Bell as Huey and Delray

Beverley Knight as Felicia

Beverley Knight as Felicia

Jason Pennycooke as Bobby

Jason Pennycooke as Bobby

Ensemble

Ensemble

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