There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis


In 1960 Elvis flew from Germany to the US and en route his plane stopped at the US airbase at Prestwick airport. Imagine, asks Jennifer Selway's lively comedy, what the effect of that hour-long stopover would be on the local Elvis fan club who, stuck in Kilmarnock, couldn't hope to get any closer to their idol than the posters on their bedroom walls.

Meetings with all four members of the Elvis Presley Fanclub - Kilmarnock Branch - are convened in the bedroom of Jeannie (Pamela Wernham), who goes mysteriously missing at the airport after Elvis has landed.

The title of this show - and Kirsty MacColl's hit song - comes into play 20 years later, by which time the idealistic fans are in middle age and Jeannie's son works in a chip shop by day and as an Elvis impersonator by night. He looks (we're told) uncannily like the King. So the question is, is he or isn't he?

What could have been a musical wallowing in nostalgia - albeit with some terrific close-harmony singing - turns out to be a potent drama that straddles teenage innocence and disillusioned middle-age.

It's in the latter stage that all sorts of chickens come home to roost, not least the long-running affair between Jeannie's husband and her best friend. Rejig the final act, a drunken birthday party which, like most real drunken parties, goes on for too long, and Selway and director John Plews could have something of a hit on their hands when they take the show to Scotland.

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