Tuesday 29 June 2010
Cooking with Elvis: A wonderful not to be missed show at Hull Truck Theatre
A dark delicious comedy and hugely popular when it first appeared at the Hull Truck Theatre in 1993, Cooking with Elvis by Playwright Lee Hall arrives back at Hull Truck by popular demand, skilfully guided by Director Gareth Tudor Price, and after Fridays outrageously funny performance is bound to be a sell out success.
Mother and daughter are coming to terms with dad, a former Elvis Impersonator, after a car accident has left him a quadriplegic with severe head trauma and wheel chair bound. Jill the teenage daughter is the main carer and she deals with it by cooking and looking after dad and mam. Mam spins wayward turning to drink and seducing young men- and this is where the story begins as this dark in places comedy starts to unfold.
Enter Stuart played with boyish cheeky innocence by Chris Connel who is Mam’s new lover. Mam portrayed seductively and needful by Jackie Lyle introduces Stuart to Daughter Jill played by Victoria Elliot with girlish womanly adolescence. Jill has her world all ‘shook up’ in her meeting with ‘hound dog’ Stuart. Meanwhile glimpses into dad’s mind as Elvis played regally by Jim Kitson provide unexpected musical insights. Stuart finds himself at the centre of the whole family’s sexual frustrations with shocking consequences.
The whole action takes place in the house and the set design by Andrew Wood and lighting by Graham Kirk is simple, unobtrusive and effective in supporting the story unfold. Andrew Wood’s costume design particularly Elvis’s works really well. Elvis is king and the musical arrangements by Jim Kitson are a good enough reason to see this play on its own.
From the very start the cast are immediately believable and the audience is visibly and audibly drawn into the unfolding action responding with gasps, laughter and applause. During the intermission there was a buzz and heightened arousal from the audience in anticipation of the second part of the play- and they were not disappointed as the play surged on to a surprising, but satisfying, ending.
Cooking with Elvis is a good story as much as a very funny musical comedy and it has all the ingredients in the cooking pot to satisfy. This play tackles some dark elements of human experience but is ultimately about how people overcome their own trials and difficulties in life and through some wonderful, raw, honest humour. Cooking for Elvis transmits a tremendous sensation of good feeling to its audience that was reflected warmly and deservedly in the standing ovation at the end of the performance.
I recommend, no I urge you to Cook with Elvis at the Hull Truck Theatre- it’s not to be missed.
Cooking With Elvis at the Hull Truck Theatre from 24th June till 10th July
For Tickets and more information see Here