‘All Shook Up’ , CMTS –  Princes Theatre, Clacton on Sea

‘All Shook Up’ , CMTS –  Princes Theatre, Clacton on Sea

19243312_1610304578979748_1125019737507755765_oPhoto: Robert Wong
All Shook Up is jukebox musical featuring the songs made famous by Elvis Presley and using the concept of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Every number is an Elvis Classic which the audience will recognise and hum along to.
The show opens with the fabulous Jailhouse Rock. Right from the start Sam Small as Chad had the swivelling hips and the charisma necessary for this character.  He commanded the stage in all his scenes with just the right amount of narcissism and style.  Playing opposite him was Kirsty Heathcote as Natalie. Kirstie had all the small town charm as Natalie but was also very convincing as Ed with her deeper voice and manly stance. Kirstie has a natural flair for comedy and this was very evident with her facial expressions and body language throughout the show. This was never forced making her a joy to watch. She also showed with or without Blue Suede Shoes she has all the dance moves.
For me the under sung hero of the show was David Richardson as Dennis – his every move was nerdish and awkward but it was just marvellous to watch.  He lived the character completely as the love struck best friend and also proved he has a fine singing voice.  His rendition of ‘It Hurts Me’ in Act 2 was the best solo number in the show.  Another Strong performance was that of Rachel Welham as sex siren Miss Sandra. She oozed sex appeal and her stage presence was perfect.
Although there wasn’t an orchestra and the society opted for backing tracks instead,  this was a brave choice giving them the complexity of a full orchestra or band but unfortunately it was far too loud meaning the radio mics were ramped up making the sound very tinny and in places performers were trying to outdo the volume causing shouting and pitch issues.
Other notable performances were Chris Whiteman as Jim who was just right as Natalie’s father and very believable in his attempt to be cool and mimic Chad and Steve Church as Sheriff Earl who finally finds his voice which was greatly appreciated by the audience. There were other good performances from Phoebe Wiggett as Sylvia and Victoria Huxster as the Mayor and despite both these young ladies singing exceptionally well they were perhaps just too young to deliver the maturity that these roles require which was evident when played against the correct age gentlemen.
The dance routines and the chorus numbers were all well delivered with some great costumes and the set and lighting added lots of atmosphere.
This was a rock and roll extravaganza and deserves better audiences than the one tonight so get some tickets for the final performances and get yourself All Shook Up!
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