Review: Million Dollar Quartet at Chichester Festival Theatre

Million Dollar Quartet Martin Kemp and company SUS-170311-095021001

Don’t buy tickets if you are looking for a production rich in plot and subtle characterization.

But for those wanting to rekindle the magic of Rock ‘n’ Roll during its embryonic days then it gets no better than this.

Million Dollar Quartet is a wonderfully nostalgic slice of the very best music of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

And this production simply explodes with vitality and an authentic sound.

There is a story-line too which ultimately proves more emotionally powerful than the synopsis might suggest.

This play captures the moment when the four stars met together for an impromptu jamming session for the first and the last time.

Discovered by the man who created Rock ‘n’ Roll Sam Phillips (Martin Kemp), this takes us to the night in the 1950s when the four stars came together at his Sun Records studio.

Elvis had already abandoned Sun for RCA. Johnny Cash and Carl were about to jump ship for Columbia. Jerry Lee had still to make his name.

In that one fleeting evening, there were the hints of the musical mountains already conquered and the seeds of self-destruction still to come.

This is a great piece of musical theatre. It had the audience - even as conservative as Chichester’s - on their feet by the end.

And the pathos captured by the actual photo of the four brought a tear to the eye.

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