ROCK and roll returns to Malvern Theatres this week in spectacular style with Million Dollar Quartet – the story of how four of the biggest stars on the planet gathered in a small studio in Memphis, Tennessee almost 60 years ago for an impromptu jam session.

Of those four, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash remain icons, long after their respective deaths, Carl Perkins ‘The king of rockabilly’ now rather less so although acknowledged as a seminal figure in music history, while Jerry Lee Lewis is still performing at the age of 81.

All four were given their break in the music industry by Sun Records, whose owner Sam Phillips, played by Jason Donovan, is the central figure in the story as some of the four’s biggest songs are woven into the tale of how they came to be with Sun in the first place.

Ross William Wild, who plays Presley, Matthew Wycliffe (Perkins), Robbie Durham (Cash) and Martin Kaye (Lewis) are all clearly recognisable in their roles without descending into caricature.

They all – but in particular Wycliffe and Kaye – bring huge musical talent to the roles and are joined by Katie Ray as Dyanne, Elvis’ latest flame, who is by no means overshadowed by the famous four with renditions of her own of Fever and I Hear You Knocking.

The story reveals how Presley, who has already left Sun to join RCA, is about to be followed by Cash and Perkins, who are off to Columbia, bigger record labels who can develop their careers.

Phillips eventually sends them on their way with his blessing, safe in the knowledge that, at Sun, he still has Lewis to turn into a star while he’s just signed on another young Texan, called Roy Orbison, of whom he has high hopes.

It’s a fun night out with some great songs superbly performed.

You can catch Million Dollar Quarter at Malvern until Saturday, October 22 and, if you want Jason Donovan the singer rather than the actor, then the Australian star is back in Malvern for a pre-Christmas date on Wednesday, December 14.