Singer/songwriter Matt Cardle, who flew to fame winning the seventh series of X Factor, will join Olivier Award nominee Beverley Knight in the hit show Memphis The Musical.
Cardle will play Huey Calhoun from 6 July, replacing Killian Donnelly who leaves to star in the UK premiere of Kinky Boots, from 6 July.
The X Factor winner, who has released three albums since his talent show triumph, will make his West End stage debut in the production.
Speaking about his new role, Cardle said: “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.”
Leading lady Knight, who originated the role of singer Felicia Farrell in the West End, will continue with the London production until the show closes in October, as will fellow Olivier Award nominees Rolan Bell and Jason Pennycooke.
Knight commented: “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!”
Memphis The Musical, which collected two Olivier Awards earlier this year, tells the story of a would-be DJ whose passion for music sees him embark on a mission to bring an underground sound to the masses.
The production, which features music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan, opened in the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre in October 2014.