THERE’S A GUY WHO WORKS DOWN THE CHIP SHOP SWEAR’S HE’S ELVIS
by Jennifer Selway devised by John Plews.
Upstairs at the Gatehouse Highgate N6 4BD To 28 June 2015.
Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sun 4pm.
TICKETS: 020 8340 3488
then Momentum Playhouse (Venue 166) 5 – 30 August 5.30pm.
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.
Review: William Russell 4 June.
What Elvis left in the building shown with expertise.
Using Kirsty MacColl’s ballad for its title, this slightly ramshackle play with music – it needs a little judicious cutting, which it should get before its Edinburgh debut – builds on might have happened on 3 March 1960 when Elvis, returning from military service in Germany, changed planes at the United States Airforce base at Prestwick.
Jeannie (Pamela Wernham) is president of the Kilmarnock branch of the Elvis Presley Fan Club and with her best friend Zoe (Hannah Howie) and the other two members, Lizzie (Alison Tennant) and, sole American member, Ruth (Sarah Moss), she goes to man the barricades in the hope of meeting the one they all love. They are joined by Rob (Scott McFarlan), a cub reporter on the local paper who is Jeannie’s boyfriend, a non- too-faithful one as he is actually getting from Zoe what Jeanie has so far not decided to give.
During the commotion Jeannie vanishes for 20 minutes, and the others, especially Zoe, reckon she managed to meet the King and nature took its course. Jeannie is not telling and decides at last to go all the way with Rob.
Flash forward 20 years, when the chickens come home to roost at the 21st birthday party of their only child, Vince, who runs a chip shop and is an Elvis impersonator.
The acting is of a high standard, Adam Scott-Pringle does a terrific Elvis impersonation and there is a splendid band under Jos Slovick to belt out the Elvis numbers which the women perform. The airport scenes as the girls wait with some American servicemen for the King are very funny. Scott McFarlan makes a splendid fist of a man destined to be walked over by strong women.
But it really needs to lose about ten minutes or so and, although they do them very well, the fact that the women all get a song in act three should be looked at; there is arguably one song too many. As for what Elvis left, that is for me to know and you to find out.
Jeannie: Pamela Wernham.
Zoe: Hannah Howie.
Lizzie: Alison Tennant.
Ruth: Sarah Moss.
Rob: Scott McFarlan.
Herman Hidenbacker: Jos Slovick.
Sergeant Langston: Gareth O’Connor.
Gerry Patterson: Patrick Rowe.
Vince: Adam Scott- Pringle.
Director: John Plews.
Designer: Leah Sams.
Lighting: Aaron J Dootson.
Sound: Jon Raper.
Musical Director: Jos Slovick.
Elvis Consultant: Mario Komb.