Shows H

HELL CAN BE HEAVEN Book, music and lyrics by Hereward K. Based loosely on Dante's Inferno, The Wizard of Oz and Milton's Paradise Regained. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch Essex - Mar 17, 1983 (season) SYNOPSIS: For Neville it all begins at the funeral of Virgil, probably the world's number one Elvis fan. At the graveside Sharon, Virgil's wife, sings the eulogy. Neville cannot believe rumours that Virgil has taken his own life, but suddenly there is Virgil's ghost confessing that these rumours are true. The reason for his suicide is simple and tragic, pride. Virgil cannot remember two vital words of an Elvis song to win an Elvis competition in "The New Musical Express". His plan now is to meet Elvis on the other side and find out the two words from the man himself. Neville decides to join him on his pilgrimage. The first problem, of how to get there, is solved by the mysterious Welsh undertaker, Dai The Death, who provides Neville with a handy pocket guide, "Dante's The Divine Comedy, Vol. I HELL - AN A-Z GUIDE". Our heroes descend into hell via Highgate Underground and meet Charon, a bus-conductress who takes them on the Styxty Seven to the first circle of hell, Limbo, where sinners are condemned to wear frilly shirts and shout "Riva! Riva!" Leaving Neville and Virgil in Limbo, Charon directs them towards Elvis' Bordello in the very depths of hell - the infamous "Heartbreak Hotel". With the help of Dai's pocket guide Neville and Virgil travel down the Highway of Lost Souls, until they reach the suicide orchard where Virgil must remain, condemned forever to be a tree. Neville however must continue down the Highway of Lost Souls, alone in his quest for the two missing words. Suddenly Neville is attacked by Cerberus, the two-headed dog of ancient myth - in fact a heavy metal band guarding the portals of the Heartbreak Hotel . He is only just saved in the nick of time by Elvis himself, who giving him a drug cocktail as a pick me up, welcomes Neville to the hotel. Surely now Neville must end his quest and find those two missing words? But no, Elvis cannot remember them himself. Just as all seems lost, Dai appears and points out where they are, in the handy pocket guide The Heartbreak Hotel. These are the two missing words, and just as in "The Wizard of Oz", the answer was there all the time. Now all Neville has to do is wish hard enough to return to his friends on the other side. However back at Highgate Cemetery no one can see him. This, he learns is his own funeral. He has fallen into Virgil's grave and broken his neck. Resigned to his fate, Neville decides to return to Elvis at the the Heartbreak Hotel - better the devil you know, eh? MUSICAL NUMBERS: 1. Opening 2. Virgil 3. Night Inside a Fridge 4. Fallen Before His Time