Lets see if you can keep up…Natalie meets Chad, Natalie falls in love with Chad, Dennis is in love with Natalie, Dean falls in love with Lorraine, Chad falls in love with Sandra, Natalie becomes Ed, Sandra falls in love with Ed, Jim loves Sandra, Sylvia loves Jim, Chad loves Ed, Earl loves Matilda, Dennis and Sandra love each other, and Chad finally loves Natalie.
Add Elvis to that Shakespearian fiasco of a storyline, and you have All Shook Up. The Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies and what better way to spice up old school William but with the hits of rock’s greatest. From “Love Me Tender” to “A Little Less Conversation”, CLOC’s jukebox musical spectacular, directed by Craig Wiltshire, not only features the King’s well-known hits, but brings one of the greatest literary genius’ stories to the stage.
When asked to describe the show, Melanie Ott who plays Natalie says, “hysterical, energetic, love”. The 23-year-old plays the tomboy mechanic who falls in love with bad boy Chad. But not only does she get to play one character, she also disguises herself as, Ed, who becomes Chad’s sidekick and woos the ladies and men alike.
What Ott loves the most about playing Natalie is her over-the-top, slapstick nature, “I think physical comedy is the best kind and I get to throw myself into this love-struck, dreaming, tomboy mechanic,” she says. On the other hand, Ed exhibits very different traits to Natalie, he’s confident and cool, Ott gets the best of both worlds.
Ott hadn’t heard much about the show prior to auditioning and was attracted to it because of the Elvis songs. When asked if she is a fan of Elvis she admits his music was forced upon her “nicely” when she was growing up. But the show can be enjoyed by non-Elvis fans too, and Jonathan Guthrie-Jones who plays Chad, insists it’s all about having fun, on stage and in the audience, and being entertained.
A self-confessed King of Rock fan, Guthrie-Jones persists he was attracted to All Shook Up because it’s a fun show, “I used to do fun shows but then I got all serious for a while and I realised it’s not that much fun,” he says. When asked to describe the show, it is no wonder “fun” was the very first word he mentioned.
Describing his character as “Ryan from Big Brother” (good-looking yet lacking in the IQ department), Guthrie-Jones has enjoyed playing the cool guy in town. Maintaining that Chad is a take-off of Elvis, Guthrie-Jones says he isn’t trying to be like him, he just exhibits similar traits (rumour has it there will be hip shakin’, so don’t worry). He explains that the show is “Elvis-esque” and says that Chad is the character Elvis would have played if he was in it, “If you ever watch any of his films he looks awesome but he also looks very disinterested,” he says.
Ott and Guthrie-Jones have played alongside each other before in Panorama’s Singin’ in the Rain. When asked how working alongside Ott again has been, Guthrie-Jones enthusiastically describes her as an “excellent comedian”. About their on stage partnership he says, “She has that feel for comedy. We match really well so it’s been easy in the sense that we bounce off each other. It works because we know where the other is going”. Ott along the same lines boasts that “it's such a thrill to work with someone that you have great comradery with”.
All Shook Up is bound to be a hit. Guthrie-Jones and Ott both speak about the show with excited voices and promise that audiences will be entertained. But just like any good, old-fashioned story, there has to be a moral, right? “Follow your heart”, says Guthrie-Jones, “Follow your dream”, says Ott.
“Fun, flashy, hot”, according to Guthrie-Jones, be sure not to miss CLOC’s All Shook Up at The National Theatre in St Kilda.
Performance dates: Friday October 5 – Saturday October 20, 2012
1300 362 547.