There’s always a slight hesitation when attending a jukebox musical, some work incredibly well and some just miss the mark. What makes Love Me Tender that little bit different is the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you’re looking for a good night out, with some feel-good entertainment, it’s the show for you.
Weaving together some of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits, imagine musical meets Shakespeare as women dress as men, we meet a pair of star-crossed lovers, numerous people fall in love with the same person and then an ending where everything falls into place. The show is full of larger-than-life characters, with some fantastically hilarious moments.
Set in a small USA town in the 1950s, their traditions are turned upside down when Chad (played by Ben Lewis) rides in on his motorbike. The local mechanic, Natalie (played by Laura Tebbutt), is immediately love-struck and things begin to quickly change around the town.
Tebbutt’s voice was mesmerising throughout, she beautifully captured the character of Natalie and delivered an impeccably acted version of One Night with You, filled with humour. One Night with You became a motif throughout the show as characters met and fell head over heels in love, garnering many a laugh.
It was the women that really shone in this production, with the powerful vocals from Aretha Ayeh as Lorraine, Mica Paris’s soul-tastic Sylvia and the utterly brilliant Sian Reeves as Mayor Matilda Hyde. One of the highlights of the show was her interpretation of You’re the Devil in Disguise. Stealing many of the comic moments was Kate Tydman as museum curator, Miss Sandra. Her entrances were hotly anticipated and she delivered a brilliant performance of Hound Dog/Teddy Bear with Ben Lewis.
Special mentions must go to Mark Anderson as Dennis and Shaun Williamson as Jim. Anderson played the shy, nervous and geeky Dennis excellently, with stunning vocals to match, whilst Williamson captured an endearing and adorable quality in Jim.
The incredibly strong ensemble delivered a moving version of Can’t Help Falling In Love in front of the fabulous set created by Morgan Large. Scenes moved seamlessly, through small additions of choreography from director and choreographer Karen Bruce.
For an enjoyable evening out, with plenty of laughs, make sure to pay a visit to Love Me Tender, running at New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 29 August.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.