Elvis – A Musical Revolution

Elvis A Musical Revolution Adelaide 2024David Venn Enterprises. Her Majesty’s Theatre. 3 Apr 2024


Elvis Presley caused a Rock 'n' Roll musical revolution in the 1960s. He was a revelation. Sadly this production is neither revelation nor revolutionary.

Luckily, for the most part, what this show lacks in narrative arc is somewhat compensated for in the performances, production values, and choreography.


At nearly two and a half hours (including a twenty-minute interval) Elvis – A Musical Revolution runs about thirty minutes too long.

So, let’s get the book gripes (by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti) out of the way early.

This show feels choppy and disjointed. The narrative jumps around in time attempting to explain seemingly obvious points and then completely glosses over other significant life events, whilst placing undue focus on scenes that would benefit from a lot of red pen.

Any mention of Elvis’s significant substance abuse is completely erased here, and his relationship with Priscilla is propelled from first kiss to marriage turmoil in mere minutes. Dixie all but disappears.

Those unfamiliar with the life and times of the King of Rock 'n' Roll will almost certainly struggle to follow.


But the show is not without redemption. In fact, despite the incredibly difficult task this talented Australian cast have been handed with this script, their performances are excellent.


One wonders as Rob Mallett, in the show’s title role, bangs out number after number with boundless energy and exuberance, how this music theatre triple-threat can possibly manage two shows in a day, and keep up that pace week in, week out, on this gruelling Australian tour!

Mallett is a powerhouse. He brings, and gives, his all and leaves nothing in the tank. Shifting from gravelly vocal tones into his velvety baritone, his Elvis only gets better as the show progresses.

He is not alone.

Noni McCallum plays Elvis’s mother Gladys in many of the show’s more poignant scenes (or at least in so far as the writers’ intended). She is at her best when showcasing her beautiful soprano voice. Ian Stenlake, in the only non-singing character role, offers up a believable Colonel Parker, presenting the role Tom Hanks donned a ‘fatsuit’ for, with a far gentler demeanour.


Dan Potra’s set design with Declan O’Neill’s lighting elevates the production – the live video to black and white TV projection is particularly effective. All of the supporting performers bring the staging and production brilliantly to life, executing Michael Ralph’s spectacular choreography in Isaac Lummis’s perfect period costumes with fervour and pizzaz.

It is Kirby Burgess who shines brightest amongst them with her portrayal of Ann-Margret on the set of the film Viva Las Vegas, showcasing her spectacular dance abilities and fine singing voice. 

On opening night young Nemanja Ilic, a local Adelaide performer of just 9 years of age, takes on the role of young Elvis with aplomb – proving himself a performer with some serious dance abilities!


There’s a lot to like here in the 40 plus numbers performed for Elvis fans, but this show’s book needs a lot more work to truly plumb the emotional depths it barely skims at the moment.


Paul Rodda


When: 3 to 28 Apr

Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre

Bookings: ticketek.com.au