All Shook Up at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
All Shook Up
All Shook Up is a jukebox musical with Elvis Presley music. Based on Shakespeare’s 12th Night the show opens with our lead character, Chad being released from prison and heading towards a nearby small town where things such as ‘public necking’ is banned. Chad’s arrival sees the beginning of several cases of unwanted love, including Natalie who goes to the lengths of dressing up as ‘Ed,’ to get close to Chad, whilst both Chad and Natalie’s dad lust after museum owner, Sandra.
The show is put on by a young cast from Edinburgh Little Theatre with a huge variety of talent. The show is full of big ensemble numbers such as ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and ‘All Shook Up,’ yet these numbers lacked the punch and impact required for a show such as this. Part of this was down to the choreography, with uninspired routines however a bigger problem was due to a lack of oomph and understanding from some of the ensemble. It appeared that many of the cast simply came on stage for the ensemble number, with no understanding as to their purpose in it. A combination of this understanding which would have lead to more energy from them could have helped elevate these numbers to somewhere near the rip-roaring showstoppers they needed to be.
Overall the principal actors embodied their characters well. Ellie De Marco as Natalie had a cute persona, believable as both tom-boy car mechanic and young girl in love. She had a strong voice and many of her solo moments were highlights. Lucie Broadbent as Miss Sandra was also a joy to watch. Her mannerisms and moves oozed sex appeal and you could understand how she had men falling at her feet. Aidan Dobson as Chad was also a solid leading man with a lot of likeability.
Whilst I appreciate that at the Edinburgh Fringe extensive use of set is impossible however I would have liked a little more imagination in using what was available to them. Members of the ensemble were frequently stood on 2 raised blocks to perform the same routines as those on the floor for example, when istead interesting tableaus could have been created with these levels. With such little set the use of blackouts to move the set was also excessive and stopped the flow of the piece and interrupted any build up of energy they may have got going.
Whilst the show had a some strong principals a combination of poor direction and choreography alongside with a lack of understanding and energy from the ensemble really let down, what should be a high octane show.
All Shook Up is presented by Edinburgh Little Theatre at Hill Street Theatre, Alba Theatre from 18:10 – 20:00. It is on until the 26th August.
You can find out more about All Shook Up and Edinburgh Little Theatre on their website.