For my money, this is the pinnacle of all the Shoestring productions I have seen in the past, rivalled only by Waiting for the Parade, another show that Maureen Taggart directed.
In Graceland, two salt-of-the earth women vie for the honour of being the first Elvis fan to enter Graceland. One, Rootie, is a childish bride, and the other, Bev, is a childless older woman who might have been Rootie when she was younger. Both have what they believe to be irrefutable claims to be the first in line, and initially sparks fly. This rivalry might not seem to be a strong enough foundation on which to build a play, but for my money the two engaging characters pulled it off.
Laura Harrison as Rootie and Merri-Lou Paterson as Bev are flawless as the unsophisticated yet complex women whose lives are a reflection of The King’s aura, and they have great chemistry together. Whether you are an Elvis fan or not, the script illustrates how he entered so many lives.
Venue 10 — Planetarium Auditorium