27 July to 1 August 2015
Reviewed by Rachael Osborne
I knew that this musical was inspired by, and included some songs from Elvis Presley and being a bit of an Elvis fan, especially of Jailhouse Rock, I was really keen to see this! Before we went I had a look to see what the musical was about.
“From the producers of Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Jersey Boys and West Side Story comes a hilarious, feel-good musical featuring Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. In a small town in 1950’s USA, a guitar-playing, hip-swivelling stranger rides his motorbike into town. Is he The Devil in Disguise or a Hound Dog in his Blue Suede Shoes? The townsfolk are about to be All Shook Up and could be headed for Heartbreak Hotel, but for Natalie, the love-struck, tomboy mechanic, it really is Now or Never. Packed with 25 of the best loved songs by The King himself, Love Me Tender by the writer of the award-winning West End and Broadway smash hit Memphis, is a funny and moving tale of hope, second chances and the healing qualities of Rock’n’Roll.”
After having read this I was really excited about going to see it! We went to the Milton Keynes Theatre in Buckinghamshire. There was ample pay and display parking nearby, and after 6pm parking where we were (next to John Lewis) was free. The theatre was clean, welcoming and had a wonderful ambience with a pianist playing the grand piano. We were met at the door and warmly welcomed by the staff. All the staff that we interacted with were very helpful and polite. The toilets were lovely and clean and easy to find.
The set was simple and very effective. The opening scene was set in a jailhouse, cue an outstanding rendition of Jailhouse Rock with some amazing dancing, and a hilarious moment with a toilet! I was amazed at how the set was adapted and changed by the cast. The different scenes were clearly depicted through the use of minimal set. One of my favourite features was the bar doors which were held up by two members of the cast! The set changes were seamless and timed to perfection.
The musical numbers were without doubt phenomenal with outstanding dance routines and amazing singing. The musical numbers were seamlessly written into the musical, and each one enhanced and added to the story. One of my favourite songs was One Night With You and this was used to set up several love triangles and intrigue. It was superbly cast, with outstanding performances by all. I loved seeing Mica Paris in the role of Sylvia, her singing captivated the audience! Shaun Williamson as Jim was quite frankly brilliant! Having seen him in Anything Goes I was very keen to see him in the role of Jim, and he didn’t disappoint! Simply wonderful! Ben Lewis was fabulous as Chad, as was Laura Tebbutt as Natalie.
A simply brilliant musical performed by an incredibly talented and well-cast company! This is a must see!!
Tickets cost from £20.90 to £50.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Love Me Tender is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 1 August 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ