Arts

Interview: Rob Mallett – Playing Elvis is always on his mind

Rob Mallett is currently starring as Elvis in the bio-musical heading to Adelaide in 2024

Grab your blue suede shoes, Adelaide, because Elvis: A Musical Revolution is heading to Her Majesty’s Theatre in April 2024.

Elvis: A Musical Revolution is a stunning new bio-musical exploring the extraordinary life of the cultural icon and rock’n’roll superstar, Elvis Presley. Opening on April 3, 2024, Elvis: A Musical Revolution is presented by David Venn Enterprises (Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical, The Wedding Singer, Bring It On: The Musical).

Rob Mallett, who is playing the iconic role of Elvis Presley, spoke to Glam Adelaide about what it’s like playing the legendary role.

Music was, unsurprisingly, a large part of Rob’s childhood in Tasmania.

“With an Irish parent, music was inescapable growing up. I was attending dance lessons with my older sisters from a very young age and singing as the cantor at the back of the church through primary school. It wasn’t until the eleventh hour of high school that I decided to make a go of it professionally. I was always set on joining the defence force or going north to jackaroo for a bit until I figured it out but a successful drama school audition set me on a different path.”

Rob’s fondness of Elvis actually came about since he took on the role in Elvis: A Musical Revolution.

“My knowledge and fondness for Elvis is as recent as me playing the role. I always knew of him as an icon but to learn his earlier work and look at how much he influenced music, fashion, the sexual revolution, etc, really only came once I started doing the work for the audition.”

We asked Rob if he has a favourite Elvis number.

“This is a really hard question to answer because his work is so broad. It’s hard to compare his early work with the later stuff, his ballads with rock’n’roll. There are a few standouts though: I love Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto, and If I Can Dream.”

For eight shows a week, Rob gets to put his own spin on one of the most iconic and influential figures in the music industry.

“It’s hard work because we try to capture the dynamics of such an extraordinary life. The sheer joy he brought to live performance, the struggles with his personal relationships, and the pressure that existed on a boy that rose from obscurity to become known only by one name. It’s a real pleasure to keep his legacy alive every night for the very large and very passionate fan base that still exists.

“In the show, we meet Elvis on the precipice of greatness before the ’68 special dealing with his relevance as an artist. The play then tracks him from childhood in Tupelo Mississippi, through his time in Memphis, Sun Records, RCA, Hollywood, Graceland… until finally he claims his ‘crown’ with the legendary 1968 NBC comeback special.”

The show has been extremely well received by audiences so far in Australia.

“I’ve caught grown men crying on the street after seeing the show. Elvis means so much to so many. He evokes a sense of nostalgia even if you weren’t around at the time of his fame. Often the gift of Elvis is passed down from parents and grandparents to younger generations, so it holds extra meaning. The show has some explosive moments of music theatre magic, and the dancing is extraordinary, so people are wowed by the show top to bottom.”

A little less conversation and little more action – get your tickets now.
Elvis: A Musical Revolution
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
From April 3, 2024
Tickets on sale now: elvisamusicalrevolution.com.au or 131 246 

Photo credit: Ken Leanfore

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