‘Well, it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat go…’ With the uttering of the first lyrics one is immediately transported back to the evening of the 4th December 1956 in the city of Memphis. The first song choice was crucial in captivating the audience and Blue Suede Shoes gained a huge applause.
The whole musical is set in Sun Records studios where the foundations of these legendary musicians were fashioned, and where for the only time in history Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered together for the biggest rock ‘n’ roll jam session of the 20th century. Hits the audience were treated to in this musical to evoke this meeting included Folsom Prison Blues, Great Balls of Fire, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox and much more.
“Martin Kaye gave a standout performance, providing a comical factor with his much appreciated one liners”
Ross William Wild (Elvis Presley), Robbie Durham (Johnny Cash), Marr Wycliffe (Carl Perkins) and Martin Kaye (Jerry Lee Lewis) must be commended for their determination to recreate these rock ‘n’ roll greats. Martin Kaye gave a standout performance, providing a comical factor with his much appreciated one liners, which often gained lots of laughs from the audience, for example claiming that one day Perkins and Cash would be introducing his gigs, as well as successfully depicting the ambition of a young artist from a background of poverty,
“This musical isn’t recommended to those who are not lovers of classic rock ‘n’ roll”
Although Million Dollar Quartet is an upbeat, easy-to-watch crowd pleaser, don’t expect too much of a storyline as it’s all about the music. The audience’s music taste ultimately determines the response to the production. Thus, this musical isn’t recommended to those who are not lovers of classic rock ‘n’ roll. However, can anyone really resist nodding their head and tapping their feet along to Hound Dog?
“Moreover, the script effectively integrates dialogue and singing, making the transition from chatting to ‘jamming’ seem extremely natural”
The show cleverly depicts the dynamics and relationships within the music industry, particularly those between producer and musician. The relationship of Sun Records producer Sam Philips (played by Jason Donovan) to the artist is recounted by Philips to the audience when each musician enters the studio, which is then followed by a brief scene of when he first discovered the artist. These background stories add an extra dimension to this musical, creating the context which has led to the current situation of the Sun Records jam. Moreover, the script effectively integrates dialogue and singing, making the transition from chatting to ‘jamming’ seem extremely natural. A true studio atmosphere was created through this.
The much-predicted encore was the perfect ending to this fun-loving and lively production, particularly the audience interaction, which saw those of all ages up on their feet dancing and singing along to the classic A-whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.
Image courtesy of TRCH
‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is running at the Theatre Royal until Saturday 15th October. For more information, and to book tickets, see here.