Derby Theatre announces first produced show

CWE_master_mrARTSBEAT THEATRE: Derby Theatre has announced its first professional produced show under its new artistic directorship – the raucous, fast-paced, and yet deliciously dark, comedy, Cooking With Elvis by Lee Hall (writer of Billy Elliot and
The Pitmen Painters) which will play in the city from  April 26 until May 18.

Sarah Brigham, artistic director of the theatre, said: “Whilst selecting our first produced show I was looking for something that would sit well alongside the rest of the programme.

“I’d already agreed we would not just programme but also support the development of Headlong’s production of The Seagull and so it seemed to me that a good summer offering to go alongside that would be a modern comedy.

“Cooking With Elvis does that magical theatrical trick of moving you immeasurably but also giving you some real belly laughs. I think our audiences will really enjoy it.”

Set around the lives of four people: Jill, a fiendish cook who whips up one exotic dish after another; Mam, a troubled anorexic alcoholic; Dad, an Elvis impersonator forced to watch life from the sidelines; and Mam’s lover, Stuart, who has his cake and eats it! With Mam’s appetite for sex, Jill’s obsession with food and Stuart’s fascination with the family, these are all the ingredients for trouble.

Lee Hall’s Olivier Award-nominated play blends together all the essentials for comedy success: a dash of witty dialogue, a dollop of fantastic performances and a good glug of bawdy humour.

Cooking With Elvis will be directed By Mark Babych, an experienced and award-winning director working across theatre, film, and Trans-Media projects.

Mark said: “I’m really pleased to be working with Sarah Brigham and the team at Derby Theatre on Cooking With Elvis and honoured to be asked to direct the inaugural show of Sarah’s first season.

“It’s a brilliantly told, intelligent and edgy comedy that boldly deals with issues of family and relationship challenges in both familiar and surprising ways – it is thought-provoking, entertaining and occasionally outrageous and an evening that’s sure to delight and excite audiences about the ambition that Sarah’s inspirational leadership will bring to this superb theatre”.

 Sarah added: “I saw a number of Mark’s productions whilst he was artistic director at Bolton Octagon, and subsequently during his successful freelance career, and I like his bold theatricality coupled with his ability to really develop performances which reach out to audiences.”

Cooking With Elvis was a huge success at the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in the West End. It is in the process of being cast for Derby and more details will be released soon. It will contain strong adult content and sexual references.

Tickets: £10 – £25, concessions £10 – £23. For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 59 39 39 or online at