Beverley Knight in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre
Singer and Bodyguard Musical Star Appearing in the West End Premiere of Broadway Hit from October 2014
She made her West End debut when she began her job of portraying Rachel Marron in the hit West End musical The Bodyguard and now it has been revealed that Beverley Knight will continue her stage musical career with Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
The venue is the current home of From Here To Eternity, which opened in September 2013, and that production, starring Darius Campbell, is set to come to an end in March 2014. Memphis, a Broadway musical that was first seen by audiences on the other side of the Atlantic in 2009, is now set to follow it.
It will be the premiere of the musical, which focuses on a radio DJ called Huey, who works with the singer Felicia. The latter is used to playing in the clubs of Tennessee – during he 1950s, when this is set, they were segregated – and in teaming up with the DJ she could get her voice heard by a wide audience.
It is based on the story of Dewey Philips, a white DJ in Memphis who, in the 1950s, became one of the first white DJs to introduce black music to the masses.
Along the way, of course, there are musical numbers and these include Scratch My Itch, Everybody Wants To Be Black On A Saturday Night, Say A Prayer, Change Don’t Come Easy and Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll, among others. The music is pieced together by David Bryan of Bon Jovi fame (he plays keys for the band) and he penned the lyrics alongside book writer John DiPietro (previously known for the show I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change).
The Broadway production emerged in 2009 and has since enjoyed success around the US, with a filmed version hitting cinema screens and a US tour appearing from 2011 to 2013. It also earned numerous Tony Awards on the other side of the Atlantic.
From Here To Eternity continues at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre until 29th March 2014 and then the stage is set for the West End premier of Memphis, starring Beverley Knight, from 23rd October 2014 (previews from 9th October 2014).