Interview: Annie Chiswell – Elvis: A Musical Revolution

Audiences interstate have been falling in love with Elvis: A Musical Revolution, and in April it will be Adelaide’s turn.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution is a new bio-musical exploring the extraordinary life of award-winning cultural icon and rock ‘n’ roll superstar, Elvis Presley. The musical features over 40 iconic Elvis Presley hits, such as Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, That’s All Right, All Shook Up, Suspicious Minds, Heartbreak Hotel, Burning Love, Blue Suede Shoes, Good Rockin’ Tonight, Don’t Be Cruel, Are You Lonesome, Return to Sender, Teddy Bear, A Big Hunk O’ Love, See See Rider, Can’t Help Falling In Love, A Little Less Conversation, Guitar Man and more.

Annie Chiswell

In the role of Pricilla Presley is Adelaide’s own Annie Chiswell, starring alongside Rob Mallet as Elvis. Annie recently caught up with Glam Adelaide’s Arts Editor, Ben Stefanoff, to discuss the show and what led her to pursue a career in the performing arts industry.

“I think it’s the age-old story — I was singing and dancing when I was born. After school, there was this itch to pursue performing professionally. So I auditioned for the Adelaide College of the Arts and got in. After I completed that degree I still had the urge to pursue a career in the Arts, and at the time Melbourne was the place to go. So over I went there and studied further and started auditioning for shows.”

We asked Annie what drew her to Elvis: A Musical Revolution.

“I was really drawn in by the fact that it is a completely Australian based production — Australian choreography, Australian direction, Australian musical direction. It’s all been created here by us and I really wanted to be a part of it. It’s such a gift for me. Obviously Elvis is the hot topic of the last couple of years after the brilliant film was released. I think his music is some of the only music that’s crossed so many generations and still brings people together worldwide.”

Annie shared with us her favourite Elvis song.

Can’t Help Falling In Love has always been a favourite song, and hearing Rob sing it in the show has only made my love for it grow.”

Playing an iconic person such as Pricilla Presley must have been a daunting feeling to begin with.

“I was a little bit nervous at the start. I think, when you step into anything that people know, there always is that expectation of how it should be done. I did my research into her — the way she speaks and moves and things like that. Then by the time I put on a wig and a dress the confidence to portray her was there. But there’s a lot of preparation before you get to that stage.”

So far, audiences have been loving Elvis: A Musical Revolution.

“I think more than any other show I’ve done, the audience is such an important factor because we get to see Elvis’s impact on them in the moment. It’s been amazing hearing stories after the show from the audiences as well.”

In April this year Annie will be returning to her hometown, here in Adelaide, with Elvis: A Musical Revolution.

“I love Adelaide. It’s my home; it’s where my family is. I have so many nostalgic memories here. Performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre is one of them. I did my dance concerts there when I was a kid, so it’s now full circle to be doing the show there.

“This is a big show. It’s full of life, brilliant choreography and dancing, and the music is incredible. Rob is amazing as Elvis. I think Adelaide audiences will really like to be able to step back in time for a little while to relive memories of The King. It’s a fun show that is suitable for the whole family.”

Elvis: A Musical Revolution will play a limited season Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide from April 3, 2024

A little less conversation and little more action – get your tickets now.

Photo credit: Daniel Boud and Nicole Cleary

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