Theatre Review: ‘Elvis Is My Daddy’ at The Olympia Theatre

Elvis Is My Daddy

“Get set for a rollicking night of comedy, music and theatre packed with songs from the legendary days of Elvis.”

Elvis is my Daddy is the sort of show that either puts a smile on your face as you enter the theatre, or has you dreading the opening curtain worse than a Eilish O’Carroll wardrobe malfunction.

As a theatre reviewer, I’m sure you can imagine that I think of myself as more readily fitting into the second category, but coming as the show’s opening fell between the two Eurovision semi-finals, I found myself in a gay old mood and decided to give it chance.

That, mixed with a once ironic appreciation for Fair City that grew into a full blown obsession and Clelia Murphy’s harrowing turn on the Ray D’Arcy show, meant I just couldn’t resist.

And with a selection of Fair City cast members in the audience, I was ready to be entertained and… I was!

Oh, how the theatre-goer inside of me would love to tell you that this was a non-stop train wreck. But no, for the most part it worked very well- from Jumbo Johnson’s mood establishing intro, all the way through to the show’s rousing all-ensemble final number.

If I was to be critical, and as a critic I guess it’s my job, I’d point to some slipping in Mark O’Regan’s ‘Virginia’ accent, or certain repetitive aspects of Clelia Murphy’s dialogue.

And on a deeper level, one might question why the show is supposed to take place within Jumbo’s ‘Big Johnson’ nightclub when conceptually it doesn’t work, as it is acknowledged that the great star ‘Lana’ is returning to her hometown Dublin.

For surely an even richer vein of comedy could have been found in more Irish references than the faux Americana that is affected. The biggest laugh of the night attests to this, coming as it did from the idea of Elvis singing The Dubliner’s ‘Biddy Mulligan’.

The strongest points of the show are Eilish O’Carroll’s flawless delivery of some truly hilarious lines, Elaine Hearty’s breathtaking singing, and the at times laugh-out-loud choreography of Justine Doswell, which all the ensemble do a great job of bringing to life.

Director Mark Lambert has done a great job here, this is a terrific show, which everyone will enjoy.

Elvis is my Daddy runs from Wednesday the 11th to Saturday 21st of May (excl. 15th, 16th, 17th).
Tickets priced from €26 including booking fee and €1 restoration levy are on sale now via Ticketmaster.ie

Cast: Eilish O’Carroll, Clelia Murphy, Elaine Hearty, Mark O’Regan
Director: Mark Lambert
Choreography: Justine Doswell

By Andrew Doyle