Monday, July 27, 2015

BBC Radio to air audio drama about Beatles-Elvis meeting

An audio play based on the Beatles' 1965 meeting with Elvis Presley will air Aug. 27 on BBC Radio 2, 50 years after the famed occasion.

"When Elvis Met the Beatles" was written by Liverpudlian Jeff Young and stars Tom Hughes (The Game) as John Lennon; Kevin Mains (Cilla, Million Dollar Quartet)as Elvis; Tom Dunlea (All is By My Side) as Ringo; Shaun Mason (Luther) as Paul McCartney; Michael Hawkins as George Harrison; Daniel Lapaine (Zero Dark Thirty, Muriel’s Wedding) as Brian Epstein, and Colin Stinton (The Bourne Ultimatum, Foyle’s War) as Colonel Tom Parker.

No cameras were allowed inside Elvis' Bel-Air mansion during the meeting and accounts of what occurred vary widely among those who were there. Some present insist the Beatles had a jam session with Elvis, while others claim that's not the case.

Here is Young's description of the play:
“I was a big Beatles fan when I was younger, but for this project, initially, I knew very little about the Elvis and Beatles meeting. Then as I began researching the story, the strangeness of the meeting and the psychological dimensions, the dramatic opportunities became obvious. The larger than life characters involved, including Brian Epstein and Colonel Tom Parker, all set against a backdrop of corrupt American politics and the disastrous war in Vietnam, made for a strange and compelling narrative."

“The piece that has emerged is a kind of fake documentary. Elvis’s life was an American Tragedy and the seeds of it are sown here in this meeting between the King and the pretenders to the throne. The Beatles were so young, bewildered and overwhelmed by their rapid rise to fame. In writing this drama I went back my old Beatles records and I became a Beatles fan, all over again."
No time is provided for the broadcast, but we'll post a link if the play becomes available for streaming.

The Beatles outside Elvis' mansion, 1965

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