Arts

Review: Million Dollar Quartet will have you rockin' round the clock at the GOH

Jason Donovan and the cast of Million Dollar Quartet at the Grand Opera House

Million Dollar Quartet at the Grand Opera House in Belfast

THERE surely was a whole lot of shaking going on and emotions had reached fever pitch by the end of Million Dollar Quartet.

I don’t often sit for a couple of hours covered in goosebumps but Tuesday night in the Opera House was special. Every generation has it’s own music but my generation had the best, although I was so glad to see so many young people engrossed in the story.

Memphis, late afternoon in December 1956. Sam Philips, the founder of Sun Records, is worried: he sees closure looming but with one impromptu jam session spirits soar and magic is made.

His four singers are at a crossroads in their lives and don’t yet know they have a stellar future ahead. We were guided through this true story by Sam (Jason Donovan), a gentle man with an ear for a hit. He’d already set Elvis (Ross William Wild) on the path to greatness, Johnny Cash (Robbie Durham) is close behind and handsome Carl Perkins (Matthew Wycliffe) will also become a household name.

The new boy on the block is brash, confident and a mean piano player – Great Balls of Fire, it’s only Jerry Lee Lewis (Ashley Carruthers). A nice contrast to the testosterone on stage when Presley’s girlfriend (Katie Ray) sings Fever.

Icon is an overworked word but surely these boys were icons of their age and the cast did them proud, superb actors and musicians.

The set is a recoding studio, big recording tapes tuning behind the glass, four mics, a piano, drum kit and all waiting to rock’n’roll. Love Me Tender was top of the charts at the time and this new ‘devil’s music’ was in it’s infancy – they said wouldn’t last.

They were wrong, as is obvious with this show.

We were all on the same wavelength, enjoying Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Hound Dog, gospel, Sixteen Tons and more. Book now, you won’t be disappointed.

:: Runs until Saturday; for details and booking see www.goh.co.uk

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