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Million Dollar Quartet - New Wimbledon Theatre and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

BACK by popular demand and following huge success on Broadway and in the West End, the Tony Award-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet is to tour the UK and Ireland in 2020.

Inspired by the famous recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time, it will visit New Wimbledon Theatre from April 7 to April 11.

Following rave reviews for his performance in the musical’s 2017 UK tour, former Blue Peter presenter, Peter Duncan, will re-join the production as Sam Phillips.

Duncan was well known for his daredevil approach to life after he joined the Blue Peter team in 1980. He ran the first London Marathon in just over three hours, fought a sumo wrestler in Japan, cleaned the clock face of Big Ben and escaped from a forest fire in Canada. He was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge for his volunteer work as leader of the UK’s half a million scouts.

Duncan began his career on stage joining Olivier’s National Theatre and spent the 70s working exclusively as an actor. He has appeared in many musicals including Barnum, Me and My Girl and The Little Tramp. In 1995, he was nominated for an Olivier Award as Best Actor in a musical playing Denry Machin in The Card. Recent stage credits include Charlie Peace (Nottingham Playhouse), Birdsong (UK Tour), and Macbeth and Fantastic Mr Fox (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

In his own series Duncan Dares he entertained with stunts such as driving across the Irish Sea in a VW Beetle, walking the high wire and lying on a bed of nails with a tarantula and a python on his chest. In 2001, he produced a six-part documentary series called Travel Bug for the BBC in which he, his partner Annie and their four children backpacked their way around the world.

His work as an actor on TV has included The Childhood Friend, Sons and Lovers, Renoir My Father, Warship, Fathers and Families, Sam, Fallen Hero, Survivors, King Cinder, Oranges and Lemons, The Flockton Flyer and Space 1999. His feature film credits include Stardust, Quilp, and a famous cameo in Flash Gordon when he was bitten by a tree monster and died.

Duncan said: “I’m delighted to be playing the role of Sam Phillips in the greatest rock ’n’ roll show ever and to be sharing the stage each night with four great performers as Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.”

On December 4, 1956, history was made when these four star musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis, the studios of legendary record producer Sam Phillips, for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time.

Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, with its extraordinary story of broken promises, secrets, and the once-in-a-lifetime celebration of four acclaimed recording artists.

This poignant musical features a score of more than 24 legendary rock hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tones, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox, Folsom Prison Blues and Hound Dog.

The stage production is written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and directed by Olivier nominated Ian Talbot OBE. Designs are by David Farley, lighting by David Howe and sound by Ben Harrison. The UK tour is produced by Mark Goucher and Laurence Myers. Further casting will be announced in due course.

The tour opens at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, before continuing to Southend, Sunderland, Cambridge, Wimbledon, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Dublin, Nottingham, Aylesbury, Bromley, Plymouth, Cheltenham, Salisbury, Bradford and Wolverhampton, with further dates and venues to be announced.