BEHIND THE SCENES: West End Launch of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL
Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan added a touch of rock and roll to the West End launch of his Tony award winning musical MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL at Soho's swanky Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
After opening the show with a live performance of Music is My Soul, performed at a grand piano, he told the audience how much he's looking forward to bringing the show to the West End. He described the show as 'entertainment that matters,' promising a good love story with a message too - the show deals with the rise of soul music and rock and roll in the 50s as well as the racial tensions that still that continued to plague the American South deep into the 20th century.
Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly star as Felicia Farrell, a talented black soul singer and Huey, the white DJ who falls in love with her and the music. As Bryan was keen to remind everyone, this is no jukebox musical - these are all new songs. Beverley Knight said there's a reassuring familiarity to the music.
Knight, who finished in The Bodyguard, just two weeks ago, gave a powerful rendition of Coloured Woman, and talked about how the show really 'grabbed her at the heart', adding that her mother could have been in Felicia's position.
Donnelly is fresh from playing Deco in soul musical The Commitments and is no stranger to the genre. Having started singing in church choirs as a young boy he told the cheering audience that he's looking forward to singing the type of music he really cares about.
He closed the show with Memphis Lives In Me to a rapturous reception. MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre from October 9, with the London premiere on October 23.
Check back soon for our EXCLUSIVE interviews with the trio!
From This Author Adrian Bradley