Irish man joins US play depicting 
Elvis Presley’s Faith journey

Irish man joins US play depicting 
Elvis Presley’s Faith journey

A devout Irish man has joined the production team of a New York play which explores Elvis Presley’s Christian upbringing and struggle with faith. Louth native John Aidan Byrne says the story “made a deep impression with me as I examined my own positive Catholic upbringing and faith journey”.

The King, the Final Hours, a new off-Broadway play, is billed as having a Catholic and Christian angle and recalls the final hours of Elvis Presley’s life and imagines his conversation with God.

Mr Byrne, who also has a cameo in the play, was born in Ardee and describes himself as a practising Catholic. He was active in the US defending the Eighth Amendment.


The play also revisits historical scenes, like the final night in Graceland when Elvis sat alone at his piano and performed for God.

It takes an artistic look at what went through Elvis Presley’s mind as he realised his life was coming to an end on August 16, 1977.

“I emigrated in the 1980s to the US from Ireland,” said Byrne, who now lives in New Jersey. “So I can tell you Ireland is a nation of many Elvis fans, devoted to his Gospel singing and his pop, country and rock and roll music.”

“Elvis had his failures and personal weaknesses and was troubled by the temptations he stepped into, in part we imagine because of his fame and fortune,” he said. “But he was a man of Faith and God, and he radiated much love and Christian charity.”

He added: “Elvis came from a Pentecostal background — and as Catholics and Christians we can learn from his life experience and his search for God.”

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