"YOU tend to get quite disparate characters that are obsessed with Elvis,” actress Joyce Falconer tells The National.

“I wonder if it’s to do with intimacy with his voice, if that’s what it is,” she ponders. “That folk take it very personally and feel they’ve got a personal relationship with him”.

Falconer’s character Joan in Morna Young’s Doric language play Aye, Elvis is one of those “disparate” characters.

A middle aged woman, juggling working in a shop in Aberdeen, and being the full time carer to her elderly mother. And then one night Joan heads along to the local karaoke and wins £20 for her rendition of hound dog.

“After winning, the fantasy begins – she’s nae an impressionist – it’s her dream to be an Elvis tribute,” Falconer says.

Researching her part, hoovering up old Elvis performances on YouTube, Falconer says she started to identify more and more with Joan.

“I became a wee bitty obsessed myself to be honest with you. Because he’s actually mesmerising. You can understand why he was such an iconic figure.”

“We were talking to the folk in a wee pub in Glasgow, who still do karaoke on a Wednesday afternoon, and you still get a lot of Elvis obsessives, that go every week loyally and do their Elvis.”

The show, which is playing in Gilded Balloon’s Rose Theatre in the capital’s New Town as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, came about when Young and Falconer were having a drink in the pub one night, and as karaoke singer belted out some Elvis from the upstairs room, the Aberdonian actress, known to thousands as River City’s Roisin, joined in.

Young looked her pal in the eye and said: “There’s a play in that.”

It was one of five plays developed by Young during her time as part of the 2017 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship, and was first presented as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint in Glasgow’s Oran Mor in February this year, slap bang in the middle of the Beast from the East snow storm.

Despite the tricky conditions, cast and director made it to the theatre on time, and won a handful of rave reviews.

Writing in our sister paper, The Herald, the venerable Mary Brennan gave the play four stars, calling it an “engagingly daft comedy” that moves “to the edge of a genuinely affecting abyss of disappointment.”

She paid special tribute to “Joan’s gung-ho Doric renditions of Elvis classics”.

Falconer says audiences are responding well to a show told entirely in the language of the North East.

“I don’t haud back,” she says. “It’s nae watered doon, it’s very much Aberdeen...which folk are just naw used to hearing.”

But, she says, audiences just need to put a little work in to enjoy. Unlike BBC Scotland’s Trawlermen show from a few years back, there’ll be no subtitles.

“We’ve had Americans in, who, by all accounts have totally loved it, They’re no going to get every single word obviously.

“It’s that thing with Scots language, how we’ll quite happily listen to really, really strong accents from elsewhere but there’s sometimes, an attitude of ‘oh it can be terribly difficult, the Scots’.

“You just have to tune your ears, and open your lugs,” she adds.

Aye, Elvis by Morna Young is at Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre until Aug 26 (excluding August 9 and 20)