THERE is something vaguely surreal and curiously satisfying about a bunch of teenagers (and one 20-year-old) getting up on stage to sing Elvis Presley songs.

The songs are the bedrock of the musical All Shook Up, performed by WOW! - Witham’s junior musical group, and as usual they produced a sparkling show.

From Jailhouse Rock, through Heartbreak Hotel to Burning Love, the songs are given full rein thanks to some outstanding performances in the principal roles.

As Chad, Jenson Bacon wisely avoids an Elvis impersonation, but has the strong voice to carry his songs and rubbery legs that would be the envy of any jellyfish.

Love interest Natalie is played by 15-year-old Rhianna Gregory, in her first role for the society.  Impish, confident and utterly at home on the stage, she is a real find.

Much of the comedy is in the hands of William Hackett, who displays an excellent sense of comic timing and a touching line in pathos.

Poppy Taylor shines as the bouncy and quirky Lorraine, Hattie Phillips is formidable as the mayor, Ben Rolph and Madison Austin completely convincing as older couple Jim and Sylvia, while Liv Possee transforms delightfully from the demure museum curator to a lovesick temptress at the sight of a Shakespeare sonnet.

Robyn Gowers, directing the ensemble for the first time, brings them all together in an excellent production that deservedly had the audience standing and stamping in the aisles at its conclusion.

The annual Helen Temperley award that recognises "loyalty, hard work and selfless commitment" was won jointly by Cleo Gunn and Kieran Wingrove.

-Ron Fosker