Multi-platinum selling recording artist and songwriter Matt Cardle, who rose to fame winning the seventh series of ITVs The X Factor will join the cast of MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL in London, it is today announced. Cast and company of the award-winning ‘Best Musical’ at the Shaftesbury Theatre are delighted to welcome Matt who willstar as radio DJ ‘Huey Calhoun’ from 6 July, taking over from Killian Donnelly who originated the role in the West End.
Matt will join Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight who extends her run as club singer ‘Felicia Farrell’ in MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL through October 2015.
Matt Cardle says: “I’m thrilled to be making my acting and West End debut in Memphis. From the first time I saw the show I felt I had a real connection with the character of Huey. It’s no secret that I worked for many years before my breakthrough as a musician. I started my first band when I was 12 years old and spent at least 15 years recording albums and sending demos to record companies before finally having my voice heard. It was the united love from family and friends, similar to that at the heart of the Memphis story, that saw me through. I am truly honoured to be sharing the stage with the incredible Beverley Knight, I’ve admired her work for such a long time and can’t wait to get started in the show”.
Beverley Knight says: “I can’t wait to continue my Memphis journey into the autumn with Matt – who will be a fantastic addition to our Memphis family. We all know he has a “fantastical” voice; I think many will be wonderfully surprised by his ability on stage. We are all going to miss Killian when he leaves but his last few weeks will be party time at the show! Bring it all on! Hockadoo!”
Booking for MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL at the Shaftesbury Theatre continues through to the end of its scheduled run in the West End on 31 October 2015 with early plans in progress for a major tour of the UK and Ireland from Autumn 2016.
Written by Grammy® Award-winning David Bryan, a founding member of Bon Jovi, and Joe DiPietro, MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL will continue to star Rolan Bell as ‘Delray’, Tyrone Huntley as ‘Gator’, Claire Machin as ‘Gladys’, Jason Pennycooke as ‘Bobby’ and Mark Roper as ‘Mr. Simmons’, with Keisha Atwell, Arielle Campbell, Mark Carroll, Joseph Davenport, Momar Diagne, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Kimmy Edwards, Hillary Elk, Laura Ellis, Charlotte Gorton, Yasmin Harrison, Benjamin Harrold, Waylon Jacobs, Rachel John, Dean Maynard, Devon McKenzie-Smith, Tim Newman, Simon Ray-Harvey, Jon Robyns, Ashley Rumble, Kyle Seeley, Helen Siveter, Dawnita Smith, and Alex Thomas.
Inspired by true events from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break.
Olivier and Tony® Award-winning MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL, which opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre to huge audience and critical acclaim in October last year, is Directed by Christopher Ashley with Olivier Award-winning Choreography by Sergio Trujillo, Scenic Design by David Gallo, Costume Design by Paul Tazewell, Lighting Design by Howell Binkley, Sound Design by the Olivier Award-winning Gareth Owenand Musical Direction by Tim Sutton.
MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL is produced in London by Junkyard Dog Productions, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Barbara Freitag, Joseph Smith and John Brant.
Photo: Helen Maybanks