Review: Love Me Tender at The Liverpool Empire

Posted on 11 August 2015
By Chris High
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Set in a Some Little Town You’ve Most Likely Never Heard Of Somewhere In The Mid-West (Population 2314 / Horses 1), the rip-roaring, non-stop fun fest that is Love Me Tender is currently delivering the goods at The Liverpool Empire on a grand scale.

Packed with a host of beautifully delivered songs, delightfully worked choreography and more one-liners and surprises than a 1950s Lucky Bag could ever hope to hold, this is a show that provides exactly what you might expect – both the cheese and the crackers, to be fair – but on a whole different scale to that which might be anticipated.

Yes, okay, there are some cringe inducing moments, but only in a way that adds to the fun – which, ostensibly, is what this show provides by the bucket load – and these are offset brilliantly by some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The height of which being Sian Reeves’ absolutely hilarious medley of Elvis hits during Act II that has to be seen to be believed and which is presented with fantastic style.

Morgan Large’s set is a feast for the eyes which has been added to by props and add-ons that only slot in to what is being produced like an extra character – keep a special eye out for Lorraine and Dean’s bus, by the way – but is never a distraction to what is going on.

As to the cast, every single one of them is bang on form with Mica Paris demonstrating magnificently why she remains one of the UKs most popular vocalists at just about every turn, whilst also underlining what the acclaim her acting has been receiving of late is all about.

Ben Lewis’ pelvis thrusting, hunk of burning love Chad is an absolute joy to watch, Laura Tebbutt’s car mechanic “Eliza Dolittle”, Natalie, has a magical singing range and holds proceedings together brilliantly, whereas Mark Anderson as her unrequited love interest Dennis shows that his acting equally matches a majestic singing prowess.

Another highlight performance comes from that given by Kate Tydman’s Miss Sandra who hilariously transforms from stuffed blouse to hungry cougar in a blink of an eye fabulously and, let’s be fair, not a little raunchily to boot.

Indeed everybody on stage rocks up with a performance more than well worth watching and, despite wanting to hate everything about it – musicals with shoe-horned in songs to fit a story really are annoying – Love Me Tender knows exactly what it is and what it’s meant to be, thereby turning out to be one of the funniest, fun-filled festivals of frivolity you will witness this year.

Love Me Tender
The Liverpool Empire Theatre
August 10 – August 15, 2015
Director/ Choreographer: Karen Bruce
Set Designer: Morgan Large
Cast Includes: Mica Paris, Shaun Williamson, Ben Lewis, Laura Tebbutt, Sian Reeves, Mark Anderson, Kate Tydman, Aretha Ayeh, Felix Mosse, Chris Howell
Running Time: 2 hours 30 mins
PR Rating: ****