REVIEW: The Elvis Years @ Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Posted on October 16th 2018 by Whats on Northeast

Written by Glyn Dudding and Ashley Nash

Wow, what a show. If you can only get to see one Elvis tribute act, then make it this one. From the opening set of a young Elvis, making his first venture into music to the final of American Trilogy, the whole audience was encapsulated. What started out with the first two songs as gentle hand clapping ended with everybody up on their feet, dancing and singing. Mario Kombou (who is also original lead of Jailhouse Rock at the West End) was the perfect tribute. He looked like Elvis, sounded like Elvis and even danced like Elvis. The cast may have been small and the production set simple but the performances were electric. Elvis really encaptured the true mechanisms and fun personality of the star himself, the icon and of course, the band by his side. The backing singers blended in effortlessly, it was fantastic to watch. Reality to tribute, the King is still causing national outrage with his rock and roll music.

The show told an incredible story of the icons life through his music and songs, from how he started off at 18 with his first song – ‘That’s alright mama’ – all the way through to him striving with the opportunity to play in Las Vegas, before unfortunately dying at the age of 42. In this time, he had performed at the Grand Ole Opry, seen the death of his mother who he was very close to and joined the army. The King of rock and roll is a hero to many so I think it is brilliant to finally see a true representation of what his life was actually like, helping him be a hero to many more.

Throughout the whole of the production, Mario changes clothing to show the different stages Elvis was in when he sang his songs. Altogether, the excellent tribute sings over 50 of the icons most major hits, including ‘Hound Dog’, which is a must see performance for all! The audience was racing with excitement at this stage. Mario also performs songs such as ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘It’s Now or Never’, ‘The Wonder of You’ and many, many more.

For me, and I can imagine many others out there feel this way too, I never had the chance to see Elvis perform myself as he sadly passed away, so this was absolutely phenomenal to watch. It was like I had been given the opportunity to watch the real thing all over again. A massive thank you to Mario Kombou and the producers of the show for bringing this experience to life for me. The Elvis Years is a definite for those who would have also jumped at the chance to see Elvis Presley perform live again!

If you ever wondered what the Elvis years was actually like, his life and experiences he went through, then this is for you. Everything about the show brought you back to the “Elvis Years”, the songs, the costumes, the humor, the nostalgia. Fantastic!

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