Eugene & Elvis

August 24, 2016 | By | Reply More

✭✭✭✭✩    Tender

Silk (Venue 444) 6-27 Aug 2016
Review by Hugh Simpson

Affecting and emotional, Charles Hindley’s Eugene & Elvis at Silk is a rawly human musing on love, loss, family ties and the healing power of music.

Hindley’s one-man show revolves around the true story of his brother Eugene, whose love of Elvis Presley was only matched by his devotion to his family and to Norwich City FC.

Eugene & Elvis.

Eugene & Elvis

It is not giving much away to say that this is not the easiest hour; indeed, the deeply personal nature of the story makes it a disturbing watch at times. The humour that breaks through is often of the blackest, most true to life kind. Yet it is also uplifting, with Presley’s songs poignantly demonstrating the way that music can underscore, inform and enrich our lives.

With Hindley playing his own brother and being mentioned in the play (as is his wife Melanie, who directs) there could be an off-putting tricksiness to the narrative, but its sincerity removes any trace of this. Over-earnestness never intrudes, however, in a production that remains touchingly accessible.

Hindley’s affable, conversational style establishes the character and the situation firmly from the word go. There is considerable theatrical craft at work here, but it never draws attention to itself.

However personal and even painful this gets, there is never the sense of intruding on private grief. This is a reflection of the thought that has gone into the piece.

There are definitely points where an outside eye, less involved in the story, would see where pruning could improve the structure. However, this is a minor consideration regarding such a touching, affectionate and deeply felt performance.

Running time: 55 minutes
Silk (Venue 444), King’s Stables Rd 28a, EH1 2JY
Saturday 6 – Saturday 27 August 2016 (not Tuesdays)
Daily at 2.35 pm
Part of the PBH Free Fringe. Details at: http://freefringe.org.uk/edinburgh-fringe-festival/eugene-elvis/all/
Facebook: eugeneandelvis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eugeneandelvis/

ENDS

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