Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis at Park Theatre
This is a fun, charming – and slightly kinky – couple of hours at Park Theatre.
Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis is a collection of misfits talking, fighting, singing and dancing. Josie, a dominatrix, is a little tired of life. But as she turns 40, her friend and client insists on throwing her a birthday party in which a very special guest shows up.
This play is all sorts of fun, with reveals and twists and turns and, of course, a Chinese Elvis. But there are some heart-string-tugging moments too as some of the characters end up going through a whole range of emotions.
Written by Charlotte Jones, the script, characters and narrative are all fairly solid. The story flows well and is engaging from start to finish. And it’s full of genuinely funny, genuinely moving and genuinely genuine moments.
Everyone’s a little bit of a caricature, from Martha the pious Irish Catholic to Lionel the crossdresser. But underneath the surface stereotypes, there’s a deeper, more nuanced personality for each character.
The show is maybe not quite as thought-provoking as it wants to be as the lessons feel a little too far removed from real life. But that almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a play to see because it has an important and relevant message; it’s a play to see because it’s simply great entertainment.
Sioned Jones and Kellie Batchelor, as the title characters Martha and Josie, are fantastic. In fact, not one of the cast members puts a step wrong. Charlie Bence, Andrew P Stephen, Matt Lim and Jessica Forrest (of Hollyoaks fame) are all great.
Yet again, Park Theatre has done a fine job in hosting this show, adding to its growing list of great theatre. Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis is a feel-good affair, full of warming laughs for a winter’s day, not to mention the occasional Elvis rendition.
Photo: Lidia Crisafulli
Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis is at Park Theatre from 13th December until 4th January 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.