Reviewed by Sasha Nye
The Theatre Royal in Brighton is probably one of my favourite theatres to go to. I love how traditional it is, the ambience, the decor. Even with its traditional appearance it fits in really well in the unique and Diverse Brighton. It really puts you in the right mood for whatever show you are going to see. The staff are always very polite, friendly, extremely well presented and on hand to help with any query that you may have. A bonus is that it’s minutes walk from car parks and local transport.
Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th Century. He is often referred to as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’. This is Elvis is set in 1968 the period where Elvis’s career was apparently in the ‘toilet‘ and he was making his comeback… boy, what a comeback it was!
Last night I took my Great Aunt of 81 years of age to see ‘This is Elvis’ at the Theatre Royal Brighton. She was so excited to go and on the way I heard all about how Elvis Presley was her schoolgirl crush, how his music has always featured in her life and how he still made her toes tingly. My aunt from the beginning didn’t have high expectations as Elvis Presley would be very big shoes to fill and I agreed. I’ll be honest I like the music of Elvis Presley but I’m not a mega fan, I didn’t get the appeal and after a long day at work I wasn’t overly excited about going, I was going for her mainly. I think the pair of us were expecting a tribute act of sorts. A tribute act was not what we got. What we got was a musical, a piece of theatre magic. It was brilliant! The stage settings, the costume designs, the musical arrangement etc. It was all very cleverly thought out and executed. I think I was sold within the first ten minutes.
I’ll get on to the main man in a moment, but I’d like to start with the truly talented musicians and singers that supported him. They helped bring the show to the standard that it was and aided Elvis (Steve Michaels) to get the audience on their feet.
One standout musician for me was Niall Kerrigan on lead guitar. I have never witnessed guitar playing like it… amazing!
Now, Steve Michaels who portrayed the Legendary Elvis Presley was phenomenal. He had stage presence, charisma, he literally oozed ‘Elvis’ appeal, if you get my meaning. He looks like him, moves like him and sounds just like him.
Steve’s (Elvis) vocal abilities and range were stunning. My Great Aunt kept closing her eyes and then turning to me with delight to say “wow, it’s like listening to the King himself “. By the second act she was on her feet and dragging me into the aisle to dance. Usually I pick out a few of my favourite numbers performed to write about but I thoroughly enjoyed all the music and Elvis’s (Steve) performances. He deserved the many standing ovations that he received throughout the show.
Elvis fan or not, you will not leave this show without a smile on your face. Amazing music, talented musicians, a beautiful story of a man loved by millions, the most enigmatic ‘Elvis‘ seen since the man himself . An evening to be remembered.
Tickets cost from £15 to £41 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
This Is Elvis is at the Theatre Royal in Brighton from 9-14 July 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/brighton or call the box office on 0844 871 7650.
Theatre Royal, New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD | 0844 871 7650