Jason Donovan – Sam Phillips
Ross William Wild – Elvis Presley
Matthew Wycliffe – Carl Perkins
Robbie Durham – Johnny Cash
Ashley Carruthers – Jerry Lee Lewis
Katie Ray – Dyanne
Venue: Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Date: Wednesday 8th March 2017
The show is based on one night when Sam Phillips had Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all together for one night only rocking out together. The brilliance of the show is that it gives a back story with how Sam Phillips found each of the stars and where they were currently at in 1956. Showing that Sun Records was just a small time record company and could not handle the success rock n roll was proving to be.
We are taken on the journey and build up to the very special night by Sam Phillips explaining the background of each of the men. Combining many hit songs that are still very well-known to this day. I was very curious about which songs we would then hear, I will admit that I did not know anything by Carl Perkins and that Johnny Cash is my favourite of the four. Luckily he sings I Walk the Line as well which is certainly one of my favourites. The way in which the songs are placed was very impressive and added to the experience.
Performance wise we have Jason Donovan as Phillips who was very good as the storyteller and keeps everything moving along at a good pace. He has the charisma and charm on stage to really engage the audience and you want to know one man managed to really help launch the music genre.
Carl Perkins is searching for another hit and I thought Matthew Wycliffe was very strong in the role and I really did enjoy his voice. We are then introduced to Jerry Lee Lewis who is just starting out and trying to be a star, certainly the most laughs came for Ashley Carruthers who was brilliant in the role. Johnny Cash then returns to the studio but it really isn’t going to plan for Phillips, just becoming a star and Robbie Durham has a great way of being Cash and I thought his voice was just terrific for the part. Now a huge movie star we get the return of Elvis Presley to the studio and this was probably the toughest role to nail considering everyone really knows Elvis and he has to be one of the most spoofed and covered acts of all time. Ross William Wild was amazing in the role, his voice, dancing and whole swagger was perfect. A special mention also has to go out to Katie Ray and her incredible rendition of Fever, that really was such an amazing moment. I totally love that song!
I will admit that I wasn’t entirely sure what the show was about before heading in to watch it and happy to say that it doesn’t matter at all, everything is explained during the engaging and fun two hours spent in the theatre. Rock n Roll was something else, the music is incredible I was in the third row and the sound for the guitars was very loud. Which made it even better in my opinion, the audience really were right into the music and throughly enjoyed dancing and singing along at the end.
Million Dollar Quartet is touring the UK until June and then more dates from October so you have plenty of time to check out for venues near you to catch this legendary show! Website for more info!