Runs until 31 October 2015
Reviewed by Emma Rogers
Memphis the Musical, starring Matt Cardle and Beverley Knight, is inspired by true events in 1950s America and Memphis underground dance clubs and comes to London’s West End until October 2015.
The gospel, Rhythm and Blues and soul of Memphis, Tennessee elegantly illustrates this story of fame and forbidden love of a young white DJ who promotes the music he hears in a downtown club through a spot on the radio of an all white station. He promotes the music of Felicia Farrell (played by Beverley Knight), a girl he meets at the Del Ray Club, and hooks up with despite his mother’s protests.
The show opens with a scene at the club as Huey Calhoun (played by X-Factor winner Matt Cardle) walks in to one of Felicia’s numbers. The sets are typical West End quality and like many of the London shows, the quality and indeed the quantity of cast members has increased recently so that there are often up to 15 people on stage. The cast are very slick and the production quality is excellent throughout. The energy from the gospel choir, club singers or the stage band really elevates this show to more than just a musical. Hearing the church choir sing at the end of the first half brought a tear to my eye, and the TV show in the second half was surprisingly funny, just like the rest of the show.
If I had one criticism it would be that the second half of the show was too short and didn’t have the same storyline as the first half. Some people, and children, might be offended by the swearing and offensive language.
A brilliant show filled with energy, great music, strong emotions and humour!
Tickets cost from £22 to £92 (booking fees may apply).
Memphis the Musical is at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London until 31 October 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 020 7379 5399.
Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP | 020 7379 5399