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Review: Elvis A Musical Revolution at Her Majesty’s Theatre

The Legend, The Icon, The King has arrived in Adelaide to rock and roll skirts, blue suede shoes and kiss curls galore!

An incredible new production about the life of the greatest and most influential rock and roll artist of the twentieth century, Elvis Presley is here, but not for long!

Based on a concept by Floyd Mutrux and book by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti, this musical [surprise, surprise!] features many hits from the King.

Elvis is not only a cultural icon, but he gave a voice to entire generation, and the impact of his music still lives on today.

This musical is a vertical narrative of Elvis’ life, from his humble beginnings in Tupelo Mississippi to the masterpiece that was the ’68 Comeback Special.

Australian audiences are especially lucky, as this production is premiering right here on our home soil, with Australian talent across the cast and creatives.

The story starts backstage in 1968, and then travels back and forth through time with clever projections and sets reminding us of the year we are in.

Not that we need it – every person sitting in that theatre knew every song and the year it was released!

Focusing on pivotal moments of Elvis’ life and culminating with the ’68 Comeback Special, this is not to be confused with a tribute show.

This is an impeccably crafted, beautifully scripted, masterfully choreographed and exceptionally directed interpretation and depiction of crucial and artistic junctures in Elvis’ life. Kudos to the director Alister Smith on bringing this vision to life.

Michael Ralph and his team choreographed the hell outta this one – with the ensemble being so tight they nearly busted their [flared] pants. Unbelievably fast, bright and era specific, every scene was exploding with life and colour in both costume and creativity of movement.

Musical director Daniel Puckney seamlessly moved from era to era and back again and took us on a wonderful journey through time and music.

The scene in the rehearsal room for ‘Hard-Headed Woman’ is outrageous and monumental – there is the musical revolution right there.

Set, lighting and sound were magical, although I would’ve loved to see more contrast of colour to indicate when we were back Graceland.

For me, it is the outstanding cast, leads, supporting and ensemble that this show is blessed with, that makes it phenomenal.

Sienna Embrey, as Elvis’ first girl Dixie is the right amount of sweet and charming, in both vocals and acting.

Ian Stenlake as the sly and cunning Colonel Parker fits the bill perfectly, as does Matt Heyward as Elvis’ ever supportive father Vernon Presley.

Kirby Burgess continues to cement herself as a musical theatre star after her turn as Ann-Margaret; the squeals, pops, intricate moves, sensational vocals – the role she was born to play.

The long suffering, innocent and young Priscilla is played beautifully by Adelaide local Annie Chiswell.

Her chemistry with Elvis in ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ is palpable.

The sensational Noni McCallum portrays Elvis’ one big love of his life, his mother Gladys.

McCallum brings a sincere, protective, and maternal essence to her role, and you really see the impact she made on his life and music. Her soulful tones on display during ‘Peace in the Valley’ were literally music to my ears.

A spectacular debut performance by nine-year-old Nemanja Ilic, as Young Elvis. His honesty, charm, and love of performing shone through in every scene. A big role for a little boy, he absolutely steals the show every time, and had the audience jumping out of their seats in rapturous applause. This young man is one to watch!

The exceptional mention here is no doubt the immeasurable talent of Rob Mallett as Elvis Presley.

A role like no other, spanning from his poor beginnings to his time in the army, his movie career right up to the journey where he lost himself and his sense of purpose, Mallett doesn’t impersonate; he portrays and becomes.

His vocals are faultless, his essence and spirit of the King is flawless and along with those distinct Elvis moves, I believe Mallett is perfectly cast to perform this role the way it needs to be. Bravo.

Only in Adelaide for 4 weeks, don’t miss this epic experience, you may never get the opportunity again.

5 stars


Lia Loves.


Lia Loves
Lia Loves
Theatre. Dance. Culture. Events. Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts contributor, educator and ambassador!

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