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14 Nov 7:48am

Are you gruesome tonight? The comedy hit splicing Evil Dead 2 and Elvis songs

The Guardian
In Sam Raimi’s horror classic, a man is tormented by demons and his own severed hand. All the story needed was a few tunes by the king of rock’n’roll, says Rob Kemp By day, he was a mild-mannered examinations officer at a school near Wolverhampton. By night, he was a chainsaw-wielding maniac with a soft spot for Elvis numbers. No, that’s not a pitch for a B-movie, but the life of standup comic Rob Kemp. The 39-year-old will spend much of the next month commuting between the West Midlands and Soho theatre in London, shedding the briefcase and tie en route to re-enter the underworld of The Elvis Dead, his rock’n’roll-meets-horror one-man comedy show that became the cult hit of this summer’s Edinburgh fringe. Hitherto, Kemp had been a specialist in “whimsical” (so he’s told) standup and was “bumping along largely unnoticed”. His only previous show, little seen, was a Dave Gorman-esque comedy lecture about hubris. The Elvis Dead (it’s a retelling of Evil Dead 2 set to the music of Elvis Presley) was dreamed up in conversation with a friend, based on Kemp’s supposed resemblance to horror icon Bruce Campbell. “There was nothing cynical about it,” he says, in case you’re thinking that the Elvis/Evil Dead mashup was a ruthlessly commercial cash-in. “I just wanted to write something that I knew my mates would enjoy.”
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