SuperBreak talks to the stars of Memphis the Musical

Theatre Breaks

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Our resident theatre guru, David Thomas nabbed himself an exclusive SuperBreak interview with the stars of Memphis the Musical last week, but before we find out what happened, here’s a little sneak peek of this brand new musical due to hit the London stage in October…


Memphis the Musical Interview by David Thomas

Last week I had the great good fortune to be invited to the Ronnie Scott’s, London’s legendary headquarters of jazz in deepest Soho. For decades audiences of aficionados have flocked to Ronnie’s to experience the Giants of Jazz, to swing and swoon and soak up the golden notes of Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, as well as staging major landmarks in the history of Rock, including the first performance of The Who’s “Tommy” and the last ever performance of the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix.

And so, on that sunny Soho morning, Ronnie’s was the pitch-perfect venue for the launch of Memphis, a multi award-winning Broadway musical that will be opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre this October, co-written by Bon Jovi keyboard player, David Bryan. As we munched on our breakfast buns and swigged our champagne, David took his place at the grand piano and broke into ‘Music Of My Soul’, a haunting melody that immediately carried us all the way to the American South and those turbulent days of the ‘Fifties when Memphis witnessed the birth of Rock and Roll.

Next to take the stage was Beverly Night, last seen triumphing as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard, followed by Killian Donelly, better known as Northern Soul sensation ‘Deco’ in The Commitments. I can think of no two performers in recent years who have stamped their authority so indelibly on the West end stage. And listening to them there, on that little stage at Ronnie’s, it was hard not to imagine Ella and Chet, Nina and Jimi, beaming down in approval, maybe jamming along and adding backing vocals. Because between Beverley and Killian, and the magical music of Memphis, Ronnie’s was witnessing the sparking of a very precious flame that will soon be setting London’s West End alight. And after the launch, I stole a few minutes to speak to the stars myself…

Have you got your tickets to see Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly star in Memphis the Musical
this October? Or, perhaps another musical has caught your eye for 2014? Let us know by filling out the comments box below. 

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