Presented by Contact + Word of Warning
Jam sessions, patter with a Southern drawl, big dance numbers, and a bit of sweat: this is a re-enactment of Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special. Sort of.
Venue + Booking Details
Dates: Tuesday 22 — Thursday 24 November 2016, 8pm
Venue: Contact (space 2), Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Tickets: £13/7 | Ticket offers are available at Contact, please see below.
Box Office Tel: 0161 274 0600
Age advisory: 15+ With no interval, the show lasts approximately 70 minutes. Primarily English spoken word. For specific age and access information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 232 6086.
On Tuesday 22 November, following a short break, there will be a post-show talk with Greg.
Comeback Special is a double negative. It’s not the original, but it’s not not.
It’s an experiment in time drag; like a half-remembered dream or two mirrors facing each other or repeating a word so much it loses its meaning.
The audience is invited into an imaginative space to participate in watching the performer in front of them as if they were watching Elvis as one of the 1968 audience members.
Acting simultaneously as an Elvis stand-in, a floor manager and a medium for the re-enactment, Greg guides the audience through the TV special as he remembers it, blurring the identities of himself and Elvis, the actual audience members in front of him and the audience members from 1968.
Greg welcomes Elvis fans, theatre fans and anyone who thinks this peculiar re-enactment might be fun. He certainly does.
Who is he?
Greg Wohead is a writer, performer and live artist; originally from Texas, he makes make theatre performances, one-to-one pieces and audio work — most recently for Word of Warning in 2013’s Domestic.
His work sometimes orbits around larger-than-life American icons, for better or worse; recently he’s been preoccupied with surrogates, re-enactments and radical manifestations of masculinity.
Prioritising a sense of the personal and the exposing, his practice veers between writing and actions, hilarity and disgust, things that are obvious and things that are left unsaid; he tries never to make the same piece twice.
In the past his work has mainly been a solo practice, but recently he’s enjoyed collaborations with artists like Rachel Mars + Joe Wild, among others.
He’s shown and developed new work internationally at Battersea Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, Ovalhouse, Mayfest, Pulse Festival, Northern Stage, Chapter Arts Centre, Forest Fringe, MC (Amsterdam), Orchard Project (New York), MAKE (Ireland), Bios (Athens), LAX Festival (Los Angeles), Fusebox Festival (Austin) + ArtPower (San Diego).
Greg is an Associate Artist at The Yard + Shoreditch Town Hall in London.
What people have said about Comeback Special
Although Presley is the ghostly heart of it, it’s neither an act of homage nor a simple nostalgia trip… by blurring the line between performers and their public, as well as the past and the present, Wohead creates a special bond.
★★★★ Donald Hutera, The Times
He catches the swagger, the sex appeal, the smile. His attention is exacting – so concentrated and precise – and the process of transforming is transfixing: both electric and ghoulish. There’s the air of a séance: a comeback special.
Matt Trueman, Whatonstage
Drained of the bright, synthetic colour of 1960s fashion, Wohead’s version is a shadow or skeleton of the original event. Recreated in monochrome, this is a black-and-white negative of the 1968 Comeback Special. An echo. A ghost.
Catherine Love, Exeunt Magazine
A Younger Theatre
Comeback Special at Contact is a Guardian top theatre ticket.
Co-commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall, Theatre in the Mill + South Street Arts Centre. A Jerwood Charitable Foundation/Bristol Old Vic Ferment Commission. Developed at MAKE, Bios, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre + the New Wolsey Theatre. Initially supported through a 2014 Dance and the Homemade Commission by Chisenhale Dance Space. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Image by Manuel Vason | Trailer by Rosie Powell
Ticket Offers available at Contact during A/W 2016
• Book for 2 Contact Autumn/Winter 2016 shows (incl. CS) + get 10% off;
• Book for 3 Contact Autumn/Winter 2016 shows (incl. CS) + get 15% off;
• Book 6 (full or concession) tickets for CS + get £1 off each ticket;
• Buy 11 (full or concession) tickets for CS + get one free.
T&Cs: tickets must be booked in a single transaction, offer cannot be applied retrospectively; exclusions apply, visit contactmcr.com/ticketoffers for details.