A popular actor who swapped the soap world for stage success will head the cast of a rock ’n’ roll extravaganza which celebrates the moment four musical legends came together to create history.
Jason Donovan stars in Million Dollar Quartet playing Sam Phillips, the record producer who brought together Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis
Presley and Carl Perkins for the session.
And the quartet created musical magic with the ultimate blue-chip musical jam.
This recording session is immortalised in the show, which takes to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage on May 22-27, and is proving to be a huge hit with fans of the golden age of music.
It is the latest role for Jason who is no stranger to city audiences having starred in two highly-successful runs of Priscilla Queen of the Desert over the last couple of years in the city. He is no stranger to the musical theatre world with leading roles in the likes of The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sweeney Todd. Off-stage, Jason is also an accomplished radio presenter as host of a Sunday night show on Heart FM.
A host of top stage performers will take on the roles of the musical icons. Jerry Lee Lewis is portrayed by Ashley Carruthers, who started playing the piano at the age of five. His incredible promise and talent led to him becoming a performer, musician and teacher with numerous ballet companies and performing arts colleges, and as a soloist on the world’s top cruise lines. The Australian has performed internationally with his own rock and roll piano show.
Meanwhile hugely experienced stage performer Robbie Durham will portray Johnny Cash. He has enjoyed a strong theatrical career with West End roles in the likes of Billy Elliot, Sunny Afternoon, and Dreamboats And Petticoats.
Stepping into the shoes of Elvis is Ross William Wild, who is also no stranger to the musical theatre world appearing in national tours of Dreamboats And Miniskirts, and Grease.
And Carl Perkins will be played by Matt Wycliffe, who has appeared in a number of West End hits including The Commitments, Jersey Boys and The Buddy Holly Story.
As well as a top-class cast, Million Dollar Quartet also boasts more than 20 legendary rock ‘n’ roll hits including Blue Suede Shoes, I Walk The Line and Great Balls Of Fire.
And audiences will be taken back to what became a true one-off musical moment purely by coincidence. John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “It all started with Carl Perkins heading into the studio to record some new songs and being introduced to his pianist for the session, Jerry Lee Lewis. When you then get Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash walking past and joining in, musical greatness is guaranteed as the four use their strong gospel influences to create magic for the ears.”
Million Dollar Quartet is here from 22-27 May, and tickets are available now.