Liz Anderson

Rock on

In December 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins met at the recording studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. And Million Dollar Quartet, at the Noël Coward Theatre (booking until 1 October), charts this memorable get-together with 90 minutes of rock’n’roll played and sung by a not-exactly lookalike group of four — plus a few extras.

In December 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins met at the recording studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. And Million Dollar Quartet, at the Noël Coward Theatre (booking until 1 October), charts this memorable get-together with 90 minutes of rock’n’roll played and sung by a not-exactly lookalike group of four — plus a few extras.

In December 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins met at the recording studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. And Million Dollar Quartet, at the Noël Coward Theatre (booking until 1 October), charts this memorable get-together with 90 minutes of rock’n’roll played and sung by a not-exactly lookalike group of four — plus a few extras.

Bill Ward, as Sam Phillips of Sun Records, keeps the narrative going between songs, and there’s much bantering and wise-cracking among the young stars as they vie with each other for the microphone. But the whole show’s really just an excuse to blast out old favourites such as ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, ‘Down by the Riverside’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Memories Are Made of This’.

Ben Goddard as Jerry Lee Lewis is terrific if not manic as he bangs out songs on the piano; Michael Malarkey has a fine voice although he doesn’t really look or sound much like Elvis; Derek Hagen (Johnny Cash) has a wonderfully gravelly tone, and is particularly good in ‘Walk the Line’; and Carl Perkins — well, to be honest, I don’t know if Robert Britton Lyons is like him, but he sure can sing (it was Perkins who had the original ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ hit before Elvis ‘stole’ it from him).

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