All Shook Up

Aug 5 2019 | By More

★★★★☆  Highly entertaining

Young Critics Scheme
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre (Venue 76): Fri 2 – Sun 11 Aug 2019
Review by Suzanne O’Brien

Featuring many of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits, Captivate Theatre’s production of All Shook Up at Gilded Balloon’s Rose Street Theatre for the first week of the Fringe is a rollercoaster of love.

When a young man enters with his blue suede shoes, leather jacket and swivelling hips all hell brokers loose and a once tedious town is overcome with love.

The All Shook Up Company. Pic Leask Photography

This musical production directed by Scott Coltman, is full of colour, dancing and fantastic voices.

Louise Hunter choreographs spectacular Fifties-style ensemble numbers to songs such as Jailhouse Rock. She is challenged with a large cast of around 30 and a relatively small stage but her blocking and use of the seating in the audience means that everyone is able to move freely and really give it their all.

The leading man Chad, performed by Aidan Cross, stands out with his Elvis flair and slicked back hair as he brings moves and love into the bleak town and woos many woman in the process. Cross has an arrogance and swagger in the role, clearly showing he’s a man who is used to getting what he wants.

One lady who falls for Chad is Natalie played by Ailish Barry (and Jess Nolan on alternate days). She goes to great lengths to get Chad to fall for her, but his eyes are elsewhere.


Meanwhile she is being chased by her best friend Dennis played by Cameron Kelsey (alternating with Robbie Small). Barry has a great fire as Natalie, in her efforts to attract Chad, showing just what lengths people will go to impress others.

A scene from All Shook Up. Pic Leask Photography

The mayor of the town, performed by Sally Cairns is a no nonsense women who uses her power to drain any sense of life from the town. Laws are even made against skinny jeans and public kissing, so when Chad shows up she is far from pleased. With her little white gloves and pearl necklace Cairns creates a character who is highly sophisticated and powerful yet completely set in her ways.

The band is visible at the front and sides of the stage, putting the music is at the forefront of this production. However, as a result, the music is very loud and at times it is difficult to hear the dialogue on stage.

The set is made up of small colourful cubes that are moved seamlessly during scene changes. The simplicity ensures all focus is on the action while the bright colours ensure they are in keeping with the whole piece.

Packed with kicks, flicks and classic songs this production is uplifting and a joy to watch.

Running time – Two hours and 5 minutes (including one interval)
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, 204 Rose Street, EH2 4AZ (Venue 76)
Friday 2 – Sunday 11 August 2019
Daily: 1pm
Tickets and details:

Company website:
Facebook: @captivatetheatre
Twitter: @Captivate_LTD

The cast of All Shook Up. Pic Leask Photography


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Comments (1)

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  1. Lorraine Laird says:

    An absolutely excellent show brimming with talent. Have seen twice and look forward to a third viewing at the weekend. Hugest well done to all the cast and production team, big hit!