Whitley Bay Playhouse is a great contemporary venue for an array of entertainment and last weekend saw a truly memorable tribute to Elvis by Rob Kingsley, superbly accompanied by the Sweet Sensations and the Cadillac Band.
A real crowd pleasing performance which had the entire audience singing and cheering from beginning to end. Rob Kingsley looks and sounds like the King and has the same charismatic aura that captures the adoring fans. I was completely mesmerised by the draw that this show had on the enthralled audience.
Although personally not a huge Elvis fan, the appeal of the show was evident as row upon row of men, women and even a few children sang and clapped, danced and waved their arms throughout the entire evening. You couldn’t help but join in and have a great time. Even surprising myself at how many of the songs I knew the words to, to sing along. A terrific night was being had by all.
When I first received the invite to the Friday evening show at the playhouse I thought I would be writing solely about Elvis and this tremendous new show, a phenomenal tribute to the king of rock and roll but bizarrely I found myself digressing slightly to be a bit nostalgic.
‘Googling’ the performers as you sometimes do, I discovered that Rob is a “boy from the Pans” home of my own family roots. I am therefore even more excited to be writing about another great son of this small Scottish village; Prestonpans on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Famous for the battle and home to the legendary Bay City Rollers. My great grandparents owned the bakery in Port Seton the adjacent village simply known as the ‘bakehouse”, everyone and I mean absolutely everyone, came from far and wide to this tiny shop that sold the best rolls and scotch pies for miles. I am certain that Rob no doubt walked through those bakery doors the same way the Rollers did as boys to sample the delights. All now treading the boards at Whitley Bay for me to review! Sentimentality over.
Back to the show, ‘A Vision of Elvis‘ was a superb evening of entertainment. Kicking off with Shake, Rattle & Roll this was a resounding start to a fabulous evening, where audience participation was willingly compulsory. A huge repertoire of hits followed, each one encouraging more and more applause, singing-a-long and rapturous enjoyment.
The show takes you on the journey of Elvis’ movie career through to the spectacular finale of the Comeback TV Special of December 1968. Jammed packed with all of the songs everyone knows and loves this was a memorable version of any Elvis tribute you are ever likely to experience. If you saw this show in Vegas you would talk about it for years to come and no doubt pay four or five times the price for your ticket and still come away delighted at your evening out.
Rob Kingsley demonstrated a kind and warm side to his personality when one young disabled woman accompanied by her mother wanted to get closer to the performance. Dedicating her favourite song and coming down from the stage to sing to her then finally presenting her with a teddy certainly melted the hearts of the crowds and will no doubt stay with this fan for years to come. Well done Rob! the cheers for your compassion were all heartfelt.
The show was tremendous and thoroughly recommended. If you can catch the tour I guarantee you will have a great night out.
Whitley Bay Playhouse is a great venue so look out for more fantastic shows and performances coming to the Coast with reasonably priced tickets and make sure you give your support to this wonderful local resource.