It’s Josie’s 50th birthday party and you’re invited! Charlotte Jones’ Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis is a bittersweet comedy telling the tale of an extraordinary night in a living room in Bolton, focusing on six eccentric but fascinating characters.
Retiring dominatrix Josie Botting lives with her charming daughter Brenda-Marie – the girl with a ‘syndrome’ that gives her ‘wisdom beyond her years’. Meanwhile, Lionel Trills, who just loves the swish of a frilly skirt, decides to throw his beloved Madame a birthday party she will never forget.
But don’t let the scene of a party lure you into a false sense of security, as the show deals with some serious topics too. Whilst obsessive compulsive disorder is cleverly dealt with in the form of devout Irish cleaner Martha, the fraught relationship between mother and daughter is at the forefront of the story. The arrival of the ‘Chinese Elvis’ impersonator (who is not even Chinese) is well-timed, as he not only serves as the entertainment for the evening but also as a catalyst for change.
The show is certainly a must-see for both culture lovers and first-time theatre goers. This uplifting, thought-provoking performance, which comes with a completely unexpected ending, received a standing ovation and didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis runs at Hull Truck Theatre until Saturday 5 March (7:30pm nightly) with Saturday 2pm matinees on 20 and 27 February and 5 March, with a Wednesday 2pm matinee on 2 March.
Author: Courtney Farrow