Cooking With Elvis

Article by Sally Smith | 01 Jul 2009
  • Cooking with fat Elvis

“Who could not love The King?” replies Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, when asked if he is a fan of the legend at the centre of his Cooking with Elvis. Although The King is different in this dark comedy: it focuses on the domestic politics of a dysfunctional family. A vegetative Elvis impersonator father and an anorexic and sexually exploratory mother provoke their daughter to turn to cooking for solace. This concoction sets the stage for a surreal farce that leaps from ludicrous dream sequences of singaalong classics to moments of raw human pain, in a world where “humour, tragedy and the surreal coexist cheek by jowl”. Hall uses this combination of outrageousness and comedy to provoke the audience, piling on catastrophes as ridiculous as they are profound. Adapted from a 1999 radio play, Cooking with Elvis seems an experience that was always intended for the stage. Hall comments that “most audiences have a whale of a time but come out asking ‘what was all that about?’ ” as the play asks more questions than it answers. Entertaining and touching, the hilarity is soundtracked by the immortal sounds of Presley. Andy Arnold directs the Scottish TV star-studded version heading to Glasgow’s Tron this July. So if you're a fan of The King or not, this comedy takes you on a rollercoaster ride that keeps you thinking long after the music has faded. And at the end of the day, “Who could not love the King?”

Cooking with Elvis The Tron 10-15 July, 7.30