Wanted: blue suede shoes

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The hunt is on for 1950s retro gear for Queenstown’s big stage show. 

Locals are being asked to rummage around for period props and costumes for Showbiz Queenstown’s Elvis rock ‘n roll musical All Shook Up

Amongst some of the items required are an authentic jukebox, motorcycle, high gloss and black plastic furniture plus 24 pairs of blue suede shoes and heels. 

“It’s set in the 1950s so the whole style of the production has to be recreated in that period,” veteran director Bryan Aitken says. 

“Memorabilia will clinch that look.” 

Tracking down original collectibles from that era can be difficult because items are so rare these days, Aitken says. 

“Although it’s not a long time ago, it’s when the consumer society was invented so a lot of that stuff was dumped as technology improved. 

“And sourcing them in a smaller community is far more difficult than in a larger community where there are big museums and collectors.” 

While it might be harder to find items in Queenstown, he says the support is greater than in Queensland, where Christchurch-based Aitken is fresh from directing the same show. 

“You often find in a small community that things happen faster because people just get on with it. It took much longer on the Gold Coast. 

“The sense of community is very strong here.” 

The show is progressing well, with rehearsals most days a week, Aitken says. 

All Shook Up will be staged at the Memorial Hall from May 19-28.