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Love Me Tender at Milton Keynes Theatre

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 29th Jul 2015 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe

 

 

What a great way to start a week!

Last night’s performance of “Love Me Tender” at Milton Keynes Theatre was enough to give you a boost to last the rest of the week!

Based around Elvis Presley’s famous songs, this very humorous, happy musical featured 25 of Elvis’s back catalogue!  I could sing all the words, as I expect the rest of the audience could too.  They were cleverly woven into a story of a 1950’s, behind the times, small time American town.

The townsfolk were “All Shook Up” by the arrival of a charismatic, full of life biker stranger, who brightens up everyone’s lives.  This guitar playing Romeo, steals the heart of several young women, none more strongly than motor bike mechanic, Natalie, (superbly played by Laura Tebbutt).  The best in town!  She gets her man eventually, after posing as a male sidekick, and going through various funny adventures!

Although Mica Paris led the cast list as Sylvia, and as good as she was, others stole the show for me.

Chad, the afore mentioned gigolo, was brilliantly played by Ben Lewis.  He had everything going for him, good looks, Elvis projecting hips, good voice and well timed humour!  

His first sidekick, Jim (in love with Natalie.  An unrequited love!) played by Shaun Williamson was a perfect, soppy, intellectual, lacking in any romantic feelings man.  He tried so hard to learn from Chad, but unsuccessfully!

There was no-one in this cast who did not, dance, sing and act superbly!

The 1950’s costumes (designed by Vicky Gill) were excellent, as was the set.  It amazes me that now, in the theatre, there does not seem a need for stage hands to move the sets from one scene to another.  If it needs to be moved, and can’t be done by technology, it is done by the cast and hardly noticed by the audience.  Set designer, Morgan Large needs to be congratulated.

Lighting, by James Whiteside, too enhances the atmosphere.

Last, but not least, the choreography (Karen Bruce) was awesome, executed by a brilliant cast! 

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