Memphis is a wonderful show which closes on 31st of this month. It touches the important, historic issue of discrimination and segregation between white people and black people. The story begins when Huey, played by Matt Cardle, walks into a black club on Beale Street where he is the only white person there, attracting strange looks. The club is owned by Delray, played by Rolan Bell, Felicia’s protective brother. The tale of forbidden love begins between Huey and Felicia who risk their own safety to be together believing that ‘love will stand when all else falls’. Huey rises from poverty to Memphis radio number one playing the music of his soul. He gets his own TV show but loses everything when he kisses Felicia on live TV and she leaves to pursue her singing career in New York. He decides he couldn’t leave Memphis singing ‘Memphis Lives In Me’ which links nicely to when Huey’s mother talked about his late father who never left Memphis. The show finishes with Felicia returning to Memphis on her first national tour and stopped by Huey’s office where he is a radio DJ with one listener, she asks him to join her on stage at her concert. He agrees and they close the show on (you’ll never let anyone) ‘Steal your Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
Beverley Knight had her final performance as Felicia Farell on Saturday 17th. For the remainder of the run, Rachel John will be stepping into Knight’s shoes and taking the microphone. Having seen her impressive and emotional performance of ‘Coloured Woman’ at West End Live where she demonstrated outstanding vocal ability, she’ll be able to fill the place.
Memphis will embark in a UK tour from autumn 2016. Dates, venues and casting haven’t been announced. Beale Street is coming to a theatre near you. Head along, you’ll have a ball with amazing music, energetic dance numbers, and humour. You might just find the music of your soul too.