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Coronation Street Star Ward Confirmed for Quartet

Former Coronation Street star Bill Ward will play legendary music producer Sam Phillips in the forthcoming West End transfer of Million Dollar Quartet, which opens on 28 February 2011 (previews from 8 February) at the Noel Coward Theatre.

The show, which is currently playing in both Chicago and New York, is a jukebox musical that tells the story of the night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together in the same recording studio.

Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the West End premiere is being cast following an "extensive search" of the UK and Ireland with open auditions held in Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Dublin and London to find performers to play the historic pop figures. Remaining casting is still to be announced.

Bill Ward rose to fame playing love cheat Charlie Stubbs on Coronation Street from 2003-2007. His recent theatre roles include Sir Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot in the West End; Jimmy Porter in Look Back In Anger for Northern Stage; Ibsen’s The Lady From The Sea at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Prospero in The Tempest for Guildford Shakespeare Company.

Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by the actual event that took place on 4 December 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis where, in an move masterminded by Sun Records’ founder Sam Phillips, brought Elvis Presley back to the recording studio that launched him to stardom and had him play with the other musicians he had discovered.

The musical features 20 rock ’n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits all taken from the back catelogues of the quartet members including: "Blue Suede Shoes", "I Walk The Line", "Fever", "Great Balls of Fire", "Hound Dog", "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

It has a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and was originally directed and conceived by Floyd Mutrux. It has scenic design by Derek McLane, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound by Kai Harada and musical arrangement and supervision by Chuck Mead.

Million Dollar Quartet is produced in the West End by Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology, John Gore, Thomas B McGrath, James L Nederlander, Joseph Smith and Michael McCabe.

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