Association of Community Theatre


Knutsford Musical Theatre Company

Director: Ben Ireson

Musical Director: Michael J Scott

Choreographer Leah Dovey-Evans


If you have not had the opportunity to see this musical which celebrates Presley’s music you need to. It goes under the genre of “Jukebox Musical”, that is a show that utilises the back catalogue of a recording artist to make a musical. One of the most successful shows of this type must be “Mama Mia”. “All Shook Up” is not a showcase for an Elvis impersonator but for complete ensemble playing. There are an incredible 24 well-known numbers spread among the company.


At times ,it was like watching one of Elvis’s films, in which everyone is in love with the wrong person, but everything turns out fine in the end. The songs express the character’s feelings better than words. It is the music that heightens the narrative in this musical, the storyline within the songs integrate into the unfolding plot. Asking ourselves the question, “What gets everyone All Shook Up?”. Chad, an ex con artist rides into a little town square, and then changes the lives of all those he meets.


The drama unfolded on a fabulous, uncomplicated set with all the scene changes being choreographed with underscoring. This maintained the pace of the piece which added to the overall presentation. Charades’ and in-house costumes created a strong 1950s flavour. The lighting was so important to the staging of this musical. Ian Wiper’s lighting design gave depth to the production. Equally, Tom Maurice sound-mix of band and soloist gave everything the music required and deserved.


If not correctly handled, there can be so much that can go wrong in this show. However, the director’s concept could not be faulted. All the characters on stage had distinctive personalities. The pleasure-challenged community came to life as Chad awakened their “Burning Love”. None of this could happen without the music and oh, boy, was it delivered! The “Heartbreak Hotel Band,” including the MD, to the delight of the audience, faithfully reproduced the “King’s” music. What would rock’n’roll have been without the dancing? The choreography for this show was of the period; it was exciting and slick. All the routines were well executed, and everyone was rocking,


This was such a company show, from ensemble to principals, that they became one. The heart of the community lies at the Honky Tonk Bar run by Sylvia, played by Clare Moorhouse. Clare lifted Sylvia right off the page with great technique and inner stillness, at the same time, holding back that little extra to deliver her point number, “There’s Always Me”. She finally found love with Jim. Chasing the wrong girl Jim realises that he has been blind to Sylvia until he finds “The Power of Love”. Andrew Dolan sincerely portrayed widower Jim who has a daughter, Natalie. Natalie has to cross-dress to find her Mr. Right. Vicki Harrison gave an endearing performance as Natalie/Ed.


Love’s young dream came true for self-aware Dean (Myles Ryan) and sweet Lorraine (Leah Dovey-Evans).We met the town’s uptight Mayor Matilda (Emma Johnson) and side-kick and vacant Sheriff Earl (Stuart Dutton). These performances were believable and kept the audience engaged.


The Jessica Rabbit of the piece is Miss Sandra, turning all the men’s heads who declare “One Night With You”. As the vampish Sandra, Louise Colohan toyed with the men as a cat would with a mouse. At the other end of the spectrum is nerdy Dennis, captured in every detail by Connor Ryan.


Then entered the leather-clad motorcyclist. Complete with guitar and pelvic thrusts, roustabout Chad. Kyle Hickman filled his “Blue Suede Shoes”. displaying good stage presence and a beguiling aura.


Elvis may have left the building, but his music lives on. This show was a “Hunk, a-Hunk of Burnin” entertainment.