Leads Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly receive standing ovations after every performance of Memphis at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre. The feel good musical about fame and forbidden love is set in the racially segregated Tennessee in the fifties, where African-American R&B music is captivating a new generation of white fans, much to the disgust of their rigid parents. Beverley plays emerging singer Felicia Farrrell and Killian is her charismatic disc jokey Huey Calhoun who is determined to bring ‘fresh’ sounds to his radio audience.
“Beverley Knight’s vocal gloriousness and the charisma of her co-star Killian Donnelly make a show that’s not exactly innovative feel fabulous,” wrote Henry Hitchings in The Evening Standard.
Memphis received the most Olivier Award nominations at this year’s ceremony, including nods for both Beverley and Killian. Killian will be leaving the production next month to play Charlie in the West End transfer of the musical Kinky Boots. It was just announced that Beverley will play Grizabella when Cats returns to the London Palladium in October this year. Beverley had previously signed a drawing for me, so I gave her this one with Killian included and both signed.