Review, Million Dollar Quartet, Edinburgh Playhouse

It’s a tall ask for a jukebox musical to do justice to the music of not one but four of the world’s most iconic performers. However, the team behind Million Dollar Quartet manage to do so with utter ease, resulting in a fun and uplifting show that transports its audience right back to the 1950s.

Based on the popular book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, Million Dollar Quartet follows the true story of the night that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins spent a cold December night unexpectedly jamming together for the first and last time at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. They were brought together by Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, as he battled to keep a string of rising stars on his roster after agreeing to sell the rights of Elvis’ music to RCA Records the previous year.

In his role as Sam Phillips, Martin Kempt does a fantastic job of narrating the story with Southern charm and ensuring the audience understand what’s going on between songs. However, dialogue takes a back seat here as it’s really the music that gets to take centre stage throughout thanks to the small and talented cast who play live instruments onstage and perform each song with character and dexterity. Martin Kaye is an absolute joy to watch as the hyperactive and cocky yet loveable Jerry Lee Lewis, desperate to prove himself as an equal to the others whilst Robbie Durham manages to capture the essence of Johnny Cash with his spot-on vocal performance.

Million Dollar Quartet offers a rollicking night packed full with great music, enthusiasm and nostalgia.

Million Dollar Quartet is currently touring the UK. For dates and availability, please visit http://milliondollarquartetlive.co.uk/tour-dates/

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