Review: THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE at Theatre On The Bay

Ashley Dowds stars in Paul Slabolepszy's hit play

By: Jun. 07, 2024
Review: THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE at Theatre On The Bay
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It's always a pleasure to see a Paul Slabolepzy piece! I'm a huge fan. And THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE does not disappoint in any way, shape or form. It is an extraordinary performance by Ashley Dowds and a story with pure heart from writer and director Slabolepzy.

THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE is a one-man show. The character Eddie "Elvis" Du Pisanie has gone back to the street corner where his life changed forever. You could say that his life had been saved by Elvis Presley when he was a kid, right on this very street corner. Eddie is once again looking for his life to be saved - he's just been retrenched and is thinking about ending it all.

As we're taken on a journey through Eddie's life, performer Ashley Dowds slips in and out of the various characters that influenced Eddie with absolute grace and ease. It was like watching characterisation gymnastics. The physicality, the voice, the accent, the emotion - everything shifted before your eyes and sometimes shifted in rapid succession as he re-enacted conversations from his past. It was thrilling to watch.

The set was simple and very effective. You had a pavement with the street name - Union Crescent - printed on the side, a lamp post shooting up into the sky and some street litter and weeds. It was all that was needed to place you into the story and keep things grounded. I found the lighting was a bit distracting at times. I could see the effects that the team was aiming for, but it didn't always hit home for me. I think there were too many cues that weren't needed. However, the very end was stunning and highly effective. I had serious chills at the end of the play!

THE RETURN OF ELVIS DU PISANIE is definitely one to catch! The production runs until 15 June at Theatre on the Bay and tickets are available through Webtickets.

Photo credit: Ditchfield Productions


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