All Shook Up at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool – review!

Many people state that they “don’t like” musical theatre. It’s not “their thing.” This is, more often than not, despite the fact that they’ve never been to see this type of show before. Well, I would challenge any one of these people to go and see the likes of All Shook Up, and not be converted to the wonderful ways of the musical.

Based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, All Shook Up is a tale of love, crossed wires and mistaken identity, all underpinned by Elvis Presley’s timeless classics. It’s the first endeavour by Power3 Productions, three second year students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The intimate setting of the beautiful Unity theatre was perfect for the imaginative production, with a sterling cast and a band as tight as some of the jeans being sported all combining to create a brilliantly entertaining few hours. Highlights included Inge Bremnes as the roguish, smooth-talking Chad; the stunning company rendition of Can’t Help Falling In Love (which I’ll admit left me sniffling well into the interval); and the character chorus girls, who never missed a beat and were compelling (but never distracting) to watch. A special mention also has to go to Erin Rowlands playing Sylvia – you could have heard a pin drop during her emotional version of There’s Always Me. It’s fair to say that the future’s bright for everyone involved.

Indeed, as I overheard on more than one occasion, “I’ve always said I don’t like musicals, but that was brilliant.” I think that sums it up perfectly.

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