My Return to see Memphis the Musical – Shaftesbury Theatre 17/10/15

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After I watched Memphis the Musical for the first time (Read my last blog post), I absolutely fell in love with it and when I found out that it was finishing on 31st October 2015, I knew that I wanted to return once more. I do have to admit that I still wanted to see Matt Cardle, so they effectively went hand in hand!

Seeing the same show twice in quick succession was a brand new experience for me. When I told my friends and family that I was returning, most questioned it and wondered why. I was anxious about returning since I did not know how this would change my perception of the show. Also, I bought a cheaper ticket since, being a student, you cannot afford such luxuries twice! After talking about Memphis (which must have seemed never ending) I had convinced my mum to tag along.

We arrived at Shaftesbury Theatre and sat in the grand circle, located on the far left side. The view itself was fair considering the price paid, but obviously the difference was noticeable from my seat last time. In the end, I could see everything which is all that matters!

As the show started I found myself excited like before. Not long in and Matt Cardle appeared! I do admit my face lit up! For some reason I had it in my head that he would be unable to perform, like before. Therefore, when he entered the stage, it hit me! I should probably mention that I went on Beverly Knight’s last day in Memphis. You could tell it was her last day because she had such a noticeable fire in her belly, which in other words meant her vocals were absolute perfection. This was strange as she was phenomenal last time, but you could just tell she was giving it her all!

I felt for Matt Cardle when it came to vocals. His softer voice is less noticed and heard when there were duets etc., since Beverly is a powerhouse. Throughout the whole show, I was waiting on one song in particular. As I said in my last post, ‘Memphis Lives in Me’ is favourite song, sung by Huey (Matt Cardle). This song is the point where he ‘screws up’ and afterwards is left with nothing. The actual song is about how he is expressing his love for Memphis and how he does not feel comfortable being anywhere else. Memphis is all he knows and it’s where his success all began. The line, ‘I couldn’t even try, to run away and say goodbye, here I was born and here is where I’ll die’ sums up how he felt when offered a job in New York. For these reasons I find the song empowering and compelling as the lyrics describe the situation perfectly.

When Matt Cardle sings, I always feel he tells a story that somehow gets to me. After he finished, I found myself in shock, almost in tears. It was without a doubt the best live piece of music I have ever heard. At the end of the show, I was not as overwhelmed as before, but I still had a smile on my face. It was amazing how much more I noticed from seeing the show again and it still left me with a genuine sense of happiness. I guess that is a sign of a good show!

Although I really liked the understudy of Huey (Jon Robyns), I felt there was more chemistry between Matt and Beverly, perhaps because they have worked together on more occasions. The ‘extra’ chemistry only made the story more real and believable in my mind. I noticed the Ensemble far more this time. They were truly fantastic and I never doubted at any point that they were not enjoying themselves.

After the show, I once again made my way to stage door, hoping to meet Matt Cardle. Over 100 people had turned up. When Beverly Knight came out, there was huge excitement from what can only be called a large crowd. Matt Cardle had still not come out. Eventually we decided enough was enough and accepted he was not coming out. I guess it made sense; considering it was Beverly’s last night, he did not want to take any of the attention away from her and rightly so!

Returning to see a show really is great and I would recommend it to anyone! I still absolutely love Memphis and, for me, it’s sad to think when this blog is posted it will have already finished. I wish all the cast the best of luck in the future and I really hope the show returns as I would have no doubts about going for a third time!

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