Stars of Roll Over Beethoven Take a Musical Tour of Coventry
The cast of Belgrade Theatre Rock ‘n’ Roll musical, Roll Over Beethoven, got a lesson in Coventry’s musical history when they took a tour of some iconic locations across the city. Stars of the show including Georgina Field, Matt Devitt, Joe Eaton-Kent and Niall Kerrigan were treated to a whistle-stop tour which included Frank Ifield’s house, live music venue The Kasbah and Coventry’s own Music Museum.
First stop on the tour was home to Coventry’s most successful recording artist, Frank Ifield, who achieved success in 1962 with hit songs I Remember You and The Wayward Wind, followed by Lovesick Blues and Confessin’ (That I Love You) in 1963. The Coventry crooner spent an incredible 17 weeks at number one in the charts, and is number 10 on the list of UK artists who have spent the longest time at number one. Born in Coundon in 1937, his childhood home on Evenlode Crescent still remains relatively unchanged.
Following this, the cast visited live music venue and nightclub, The Kasbah on Primrose Hill Street. The building which is over 100 years old, started life as the Globe Picture Theatre in 1914 and was a working cinema for 40 years before closing. In 1957 it reopened as the Majestic Ballroom where rock ‘n’ roll dances were held and teenagers learned to jive. It later became The Orchid Ballroom, run by entertainer Larry Page. Larry managed many successful bands to come out of Coventry including Johnny B Great and the Goodmen and 60s girl group, The Orchids. The building was later known as a bingo hall, and home to theatre company Tic Toc, before eventually becoming the nightclub we know today.
The final stop on their musical tour was of course, The Coventry Music Museum, where Coventry Music Historian and Journalist Pete Chambers guided them through the exhibitions from Music Hall to 2 Tone. The cast of Roll Over Beethoven had the chance to sample the 1960s sound booth and choose their favourite songs to come out of Coventry!
Running on the Belgrade’s Main Stage until Sat 17 Sept, Roll Over Beethoven is a fun, high-energy new musical that tells the story of how dreary, post-war England was transformed forever by American Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Bringing a blaze of neon colour to the monochrome streets of blighty, this thrilling new musical is the latest in a series of smash-hit productions by Writer/Director Bob Eaton, best known to Coventry audiences for scoring a hit with Three Minute Heroes back in 2014.
Relocating Shakespeare’s classic tale of adolescent angst, teenage rebellion, family feuds and the ghosts of generations’ past to Britain in the late 1950s, Roll Over Beethoven is a playful and highly entertaining tribute to a defining moment in UK music history, the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll.