Memphis The Musical – A Review (The JAR Series)

So, it took me a while but I finally pulled out something from The Jar! I was deciding on plans for a Friday night and what I ended up with was… 

Ta daaaa – A Musical!

This was perfect, especially as I knew I could easily pick up some cheap same day tickets somewhere (all the stageys know that it’s much better than booking in advance)! As luck would have it, the best deal turned out to be Memphis The Musical, offering me front row seats on a Friday for £20 – how could I say no to that? And I’m Super glad I didn’t! Here’s what I thought…

To give you an idea of the style of the show, think; Dream Girls meets Hairspray – then you’ll find yourself in Memphis – doesn’t that just sound like the best combination ever? Because it is, trust me. Loosely, the plot follows the rise to fame of DJ Huey Calhoun in 1950’s Memphis, Tennessee and the frowned upon forbidden relationship with club singer Felicia Farrell (And that’s all I’m saying because you really should go see it and find out for yourself). Memphis was totally refreshing, the plot offers the standard unrequited love storyline with a novel twist. It was great to see an unusual protagonist, not your average swoon worthy hunk/ prince charming – but he was most certainly charming all the same.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at all – but my God, was I blown away by the incredibleness of Memphis – it stole all the words from my thoughts and I was left entirely speechless, in awe, unable to do anything other than race to my feet during the bows and clap so hard my hands were vibrating for hours afterwards – and then get the post-musical blues, sad that something so great had come to an end. The energy reverberated through the theatre, they set the standard high from the opening number and didn’t look back. I laughed, I cried – it was a roller coaster of every emotion that I could muster, it was almost exhausting! Although nowhere near as exhausting as it must be for the performers (not that they let on!).

Actor Killian Donnelly (Huey) worked in perfect harmony with fellow star Beverly Knight (Felicia) – Who by the way, has a pair of lungs with more power than a jet plane with added fire rockets. Together, they created an electric atmosphere and had the audience wrapped around their talented little fingers. Although these two where indeed the stars, the show consisted of several other, equally awesome solos – differing from so many other musicals out there where you find yourself listening to yet another solo from the star crossed lovers, which let’s just admit, can get a little dull.

With Memphis, banished are the fears that dancers trained for years just to step clap in the background and dress the stage – Sergio Trujillo’s choreography is filled with passion and energy, the dancers performing the extremely technical numbers with impressive precision, not once letting the energy drop – Alex Thomas was an ensemble member that really caught my attention with his commanding stance and legs that went on for days – he delivers with consistent power and drive through the entire show. However, he was not the only one, every single member of the ensemble gave an inspiring performance, pouring their heart and soul into everything.

Needless to say they received a standing ovation (any Scrooge that refused to stand would have personally been served a death stare from myself) and, with good reason, it’s residency at the Shaftsbury has, been extended until October (thank goodness). But I implore you, don’t leave it until October to pick up a ticket at the risk of missing it, go, go, GO see it in the immediate future of live to regret it for all eternity. (P.S – It JUST won Best New Musical at the Oliviers… so if you don’t believe me, believe the voters!)

Daisy’s Rating…. 
Price Bracket : £ 

Would I recommend it?: DUH?!
KEY: £- Cheap and Cheerful, ££ – Feeling Fancy, £££ – I’d start saving now.

Love Daisy x

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