Bridge Hotel, Rozelle, Sydney Nov 15, 2013 In a world of rock’n’roll bigotry a young white man dreamed of bridging the racial gap of teenage movers and shakers in 50s Memphis. That man, Sam Phillips (played by Matt Charleston) is focused and driven in the John kennedy conceived production of Sons of Sun (The Sam Phillips Story) where Phillips builds Sun Records and with it a label of music’s greats: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and so on. The story is seamlessly told by the cast of three (Charleston, Corinne Marie and Damian Sommerlad) and developed through pastiche, interwoven with 31 soulful tunes from Kennedy himself and the Sons of Sun band armed with acoustic, electric and bass guitar. Kennedy’s deep singing voice
comforts you like a warm blanket as the actors, clearly experts in their craft, detail industry ups and down like paying royalties and struggling to make bread. KIERAN CARROLL’s snappy script is just what the show needs, really coming into its own during scenes of conflict in the second act while Neil Gooding’s direction makes appropriate use of the small Bridge Hotel space. Narrator Sommerlad encourages applause after each ditty but by the middle of act one there’s no need. It’s an impressive troupe of professionals developing a rarely heard narrative with enthusiasm and simple creativity.