The Bodyguard’s Beverley Knight will follow her acclaimed West End debut with Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, which will make its London premiere later this year at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
David Bryan and Joe DiPietro’s quadruple Tony Award winning show, which tells the story of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black singer’s plight to make it big in 1950s Tennessee, will play from 9 October (press night 23 October).
Recording artist Knight, who made her acting debut last year as Rachel Marron in Olivier Award nominated show The Bodyguard, will continue her flourishing musical theatre career to lead the cast as Felicia in the rock ‘n’ roll story inspired by actual events.
A tale of fame and forbidden love, Memphis tells the story of white radio DJ Huey – inspired by real-life Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips – and his collaboration with talented singer Felicia, as they journey to bring her music to the masses over the airwaves, taking her away from the segregated clubs of Tennessee.
Featuring original songs, written by Bon Jovi keyboard player Bryan, including The Music Of My Soul and Ain’t Nothin’ But A Kiss, Memphis made its Broadway premiere in 2009 when it was described by the New York Post as a “zippy, exuberant musical”. It was awarded the coveted Best Musical Tony Award in 2010.
Knight will continue to appear in The Bodyguard until 31 May. Full casting for Memphis, which will follow current musical From Here To Eternity and forthcoming Chichester Festival Theatre transfer The Pajama Game into the venue, is yet to be announced.