Review: Love Me Tender

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Until: Saturday 8 August 2015
Performance reviewed: Monday 3 August 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

With numerous jukebox musicals currently touring or in the West End, Love Me Tender is the new kid in town.

Featuring the hits of Elvis Presley, Love Me Tender by Joe DiPietro takes us to a one-horse town in the Midwest in the 1950s, where no loud music or public necking is allowed. Order is kept by Mayor Matilda Hyde (played by Sian Reeves) until roustabout Chad (Ben Lewis) arrives on the scene.

Straight away, he causes the town mechanic, Natalie (Laura Tebbutt) to fall in love with him and from there love seems to be in the air for everyone.

The big name in this production is Mica Paris who plays bar-owner Sylvia. Her vocals are outstanding, powerful and soulful. Her rendition of There’s Always Me is a definite crowd-pleaser.

Very close to stealing the show is Aretha Ayeh as Sylvia’s 16 year-old daughter, Lorraine. Her vocals are stunning and it’s clear she has a very promising career ahead of her.

They’ve squeezed in as many Elvis hits as possible, though have had to shorten some and slightly change others. Expect to hear Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Teddy Bear, It’s Now or Never, Blue Suede Shoes, the crowd-pleaser Devil in Disguise and the title song Love Me Tender.

The set by Morgan Large is quirky and fun and raises a few laughs at times and the costumes by Vicky Gill are fitting of the era complete with blue suede shoes.

The cast is extremely strong and all deserve praise. Ben Lewis as Chad exudes the Elvis persona with his swivelling hips, lip curl, quiff and soulful voice. Laura Tebbutt as Natalie has some fast costume changes plus the most difficult role to play on the stage but  she does it so well and her voice can’t be faulted.

Shaun Williamson as Natalie’s Dad, Jim; Mark Anderson as Natalie’s geeky best-friend Dennis, and Kate Tydman as beautiful and intelligent museum curator, Miss Sandra are all brilliant too. There are so many soulful, rich voices in the cast and some great comedic performances too.

Love Me Tender is a great night out, whether you’re an Elvis fan or not. At least it’s not just here for One Night – it’s on til Saturday so get your Blue Suede Shoes on and head to the King’s, it’ll leave you All Shook Up!

For tickets, visit: All Shook Up Glasgow Tickets