Killian Donnelly will join Beverley Knight in the London premiere of Tony Award-winning musical Memphis when it opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October.
The Irish performer, who can currently be found entertaining audiences in The Commitments at the Palace Theatre, will take on the role of radio DJ Huey when the production begins its run on 9 October.
While his forthcoming co-star Knight has only recently brought her musical talent to the West End stage, playing Rachel Marron in Whitney Houston-inspired hit The Bodyguard, Donnelly has a string of musical theatre credits to his name. Prior to his current role in the stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s much-loved novel, the actor appeared in West End productions of Billy Elliot The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera and Les Misérables.
A tale of fame and forbidden love, Memphis tells the story of a radio DJ (Donnelly) – inspired by real-life Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips – and his collaboration with singer Felicia (Knight). Together they embark on a journey to take her away from the segregated clubs of Tennessee and bring her music to the masses over the airwaves.
Featuring original songs written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, including The Music Of My Soul and Ain’t Nothin’ But A Kiss, the musical received the Tony Award for Best Musical following its Broadway premiere in 2009.
Memphis, which is currently booking until 28 March 2015, will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre following the West End transfer of The Pajama Game starring Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier, which plays from 2 May to 13 September.