MEMPHIS Launches In The West End! Knight, Bryan and Donnelly Speak Exclusively To BWW:UK

At the West End Launch of David Bryan's soul musical Memphis, BWW:UK spoke to stars Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly as well the Bon Jovi keyboardist himself.

Bryan told BWW:UK that he's thrilled to be bringing the show to the West End: "It's a show about celebrating what brings us together and not what separates us. I'm really excited about it. I've been here with my band since 1984 - now to have something completely different coming to the West End is so wonderful."

He has fulsome words of praise for the cast, too.

"Beverley is unbelievable, Killian is unbelievable - to hear them singing my songs is an honour."

Knight - a hit in her role in The Bodyguard - says she really connects with the music.

"This is great because it's something I can really get my teeth into. Musically this is where I really come from - coming from gospel and blues and soul this is how I grew up. I can't wait."

She also thinks the West End is ready for a show like this.

"The last time we had anything that was kind of very danceable but a bit funny with a serious undertone and a racial undertone - you're looking at Hairspray, looking at West Side Story - so this I think this is of that kind of ilk but totally new for people now, especially for new people coming through. Those are obviously classics but this is brand new. "

Donnelly performed Memphis Lives In Me for the launch, a song he sang for his audition.

"It's one of those things as soon as it was introduced to me I was like, 'Where has this come from?' So I started researching more and more and more for the audition and fell in love not with just the music but the material, the show."

He also loved working with Bryan. "He is the essence of rock and roll. I'm [backstage] there fixing my shirt and having 12 cups of coffee and 12 glasses of water before going on, and I go to David, 'How are you?' and he goes, 'Man, I haven't slept, I got about an hour - but let's go and kill it.' And he goes out and absolutely kills it."

Donnelly says it's a show that really reaches a wide audience.

"I love the way it actually touches on every kind of audience for old to young people who've never been to the theatre, it's for everyone."

And be prepared for the music to blow you away.

"Every song is a tune as we say. Underground that opens the show just lifts the roof off the place."

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From This Author Adrian Bradley

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