What a Treat! Elvis (in the form of Mario Kombow) has entered the Building.  The particular building in question is the Dominion Theatre in London's Tottenham Court Road.  When described as 'more Elvis, then Elvis himself' by first cousin to the King, Donna Presley, you know you are in for a good time.  The boy from Muswell Hill next to Memphis started his journey in the role of Elvis in Jailhouse Rock over twenty years ago and has, alongside director David McKay, developed his role for the show I am here to see, The Elvis Years.

Throughout the show we get to see varying sides of Elvis, each highlighting Kombow's ability to showcase his skillset with ease and vigour. We learn that Elvis was a kindly, sensitive soul, the videography in the background displaying, inter alia, a running theme of songs and lifestyle snippets as a narrative with the added bonus of reels from The Ed Sullivan Show. Such was the sensitivity of Elvis, that at the funeral of Martin Luther King, he recited 'I Have a Dream' - something he never repeated again.  Alongside the sensitivity was the workaholic Elvis, when Uncle Sam called up in '58, before heading to Germany he recorded no less than 5 hits.

Mario came into his own segway into Elvis in the second half of the show - the live concert hitting every single hit and this is where the band and backing singers got their turn in the spotlight, the space being a hive of energy full of colour, electricity, sound and costumes.  The band were in sync and young guitarist Tom Parrish took to the musicality like a duck to water, however, he learnt from the best - his father Simon Parrish was strumming right next to him!  Mario was truly in his element at stages of the concert, mingling with the audience, rubbing scarves on his torso and handing them back with a peck on the cheek.

As the closing song began to fill the atmosphere, Mario asked us to hold alight our phone torches and pay respects to The King and the recently departed Lisa-Marie, a loving touch to a brilliantly emotional show. Mario, you have the moves, the lip curl, the costumes and the sound of the late great Elvis Presley. I doff my cap to the Wonder of You.


Review: Kay Johal