by Sue Wilkinson
Let’s have a party – says one of the characters in Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, the first play of the new season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
So they do. All the ingredients are there – reluctant host, mystery guest, unexpected guest, music, tears, laughter, declarations of love and outrageous outfits.
To add spice, the play’s author Charlotte Jones has made her ‘family’ as dysfunctional as a clapped-out Hoover.
Mum Josie is a bored dominatrix who has lost the will to whip, her daughter Brenda-Marie has a ‘syndrome’, her Irish Catholic cleaner Martha has OCD, her favourite client Lionel is a lapsed Jew who likes wearing women’s clothing and her 20-something daughter Shelley-Louise has changed her name and done a runner.
Into this gathering – Josie’s 50th birthday party – walks Timothy Wong, a Chinese Elvis impersonator with identity issues of his own…
Image courtesy of the Stephen Joseph Theatre