Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Casting announced for MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL


Casting was announced today for the West End production of hit Broadway musical MEMPHIS, which will have preview performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London from 9 October 2014 with Opening Night on 23 October 2014. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, MEMPHIS has a Grammy® Award-winning original score by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro.

Led by multi award-winning recording artist Beverley Knight as club singer ‘Felicia Farrell’ and stage star Killian Donnelly as radio DJ ‘Huey Calhoun’, with Rolan Bell as ‘Delray’, Tyrone Huntley as ‘Gator’, Claire Machin as ‘Gladys’, Jason Pennycooke as ‘Bobby’ and Mark Roper as ‘Mr. Simmons’, the full cast of MEMPHIS will include Keisha Atwell, Arielle Campbell, Mark Carroll, Joseph Davenport, Momar Diagne, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Kimmy Edwards, Hillary Elk, Laura Ellis, Charlotte Gorton, Benjamin Harrold, Waylon Jacobs, Rachel John, Dean Maynard, Devon McKenzie-Smith, Tim Newman, Simon Ray-Harvey, Jon Robyns, Ashley Rumble, Kyle Seeley, Helen Siveter, Dawnita Smith, and Alex Thomas.


Inspired by true events from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, MEMPHIS follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break.
“David Bryan evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations and the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period” Charles Isleworth, New York Times.

Directed by Christopher Ashley and with Choreography by Sergio TrujilloMEMPHIS has Scenic Design by David Gallo, Costume Design by Paul Tazewell, Lighting Design by Howell Binkley and Sound Design by the Olivier Award-winning Gareth Owen.

MEMPHIS is produced in London by Junkyard Dog Productions, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Barbara Freitag, Joseph Smith and John Brant.

Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight (Felicia Farrell) has been one of the UK’s most consistent artists of the past 15 years, scoring several Top 10 albums, including the platinum-selling Voice: The Best of Beverley Knight. She has sold over a million albums in the UK, including four gold certified albums. She was awarded an MBE by The Queen in 2007 for her services to British music and her charity work, has won three MOBO Awards, and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the Mercury Music Prize twice. Her live performances have gained her a legion of famous fans, from David Bowie to Prince, Take That to Quincy Jones. Performances include: supporting Prince at his 21 Nights O2 shows in 2007 and he was so taken by Beverley’s live set that he flew her to LA in 2008 to perform with him at his post-Oscars party, where they were joined on stage by Stevie Wonder. She supported Take That on their reunion arena tour, joining them on stage for ‘Relight My Fire’. Wolverhampton-born Beverley has toured the UK several times in her own right over the last decade and a half and has sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall on three occasions since she debuted there in 2007. In summer 2012, she wowed a 1 billion viewing audience with the song ‘I Am What I Am’ at the finale of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. Most recently, Beverley made her critically acclaimed west end debut as ‘Rachel Marron’ in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre.

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Killian Donnelly (Huey Calhoun) has extensive west end theatre credits including ‘Raoul’ in The Phantom of the Opera  (Her Majesty’s Theatre),  ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre), ‘Tony’ in Billy Elliot the Musical  (Victoria Palace Theatre) and most recently as ‘Deco in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments (Palace Theatre). In his native Ireland, Killian’s theatre credits include: ‘Collins’ in Michael Collins(Cork Opera House), Sweeney Todd (Gate Theatre, Dublin), ‘Ethan Girard’ in The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre), ‘Tony’ in West Side Story (The Solstice), ‘Declan’ in The Wireman (Gaiety Theatre) and ‘Rod’ in Singin’ in the Rain (Olympia Theatre). Concerts include: The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall), ‘Courfeyrac’ in Les Misérables 25th Anniversary (o2 Arena), You Should Be Dancing (National Concert Hall, Dublin) and Les Misérables (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Isle of Wight). Television includes: Showbands(BBC), The Last Furlong (RTE), Batchelors Walk (RTE), The Tudors (BBC), The Late Late Show (RTE) and Open House (RTE). Film includes: ‘Combeferre’ in Les Misérables (Working Title Films) directed by Tom Hooper.

David Bryan (Music and lyrics) is a Grammy® Award-winning keyboard player and founding member of BON JOVI. Over the past 26 years the band has sold more than 130 million records and toured the world, playing to millions of people. Their recent Lost Highway Tour was the #1 grossing tour in the world. In the USA, David is a spokesperson for VH1’s Save the Music Program and won the 2010 Tony Award® for Best Composer, the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score forMEMPHIS.

Joe DiPietro (Book) won two Tony® Awards for co-writing MEMPHIS and was also won a Drama Desk award recent Broadway show Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick. His other plays and musicals include: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off-Broadway history), The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical), Over the River and Through The Woods, The Art of Murder (Edgar Award Winner for Best Mystery Play) and the Broadway musical All Shook Up.
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