Hot Shoe Shuffle’s Tap Brothers – Rob Mallett

AussieTheatre is currently featuring interviews with the recently announced Tap Brothers, soon to star in the upcoming 21st Anniversary Production of Hot Shoe Shuffle.

Hot Shoe Shuffle is the tale of Spring, Slap, Buck, Wing, Tip, Tap and Slide and their long lost sister April in a 1940s inspired musical theatre setting with choreography by Dein Perry and David Atkins.

Our fifth feature is with 2012 WAAPA graduate Rob Mallet who joins the cast as larrikin Tap Brother, Buck.

Rob Mallett Hot Shoe Shuffle
Rob Mallett in Hot Shoe Shuffle

What is it that excites you most about joining the cast of Hot Shoe Shuffle?

There are few shows where you get to indulge in such a personal passion, and  I am very excited about that.

When did you discover your love of tap?

I have loved it as long as I can remember, I loved the classics like Fred Astaire. I did Irish dancing forever, and that led me to tap dancing seriously four years ago.

This is your first musical after graduating from WAAPA’s Musical Theatre degree – do you think your WAAPA training helped you nail this audition?

Of course. That training is what got me to Hot Shoe Shuffle. It shows that you have an absolute commitment to the craft, to being able to be in the moment, whether that is in an audition or during a performance. It also gives you the confidence.

Describe your character – Buck

Buck is a gambler, joker and a larrikin

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals or superstitions?

Not really. I like quiet time before a performance and I like to wear black underwear during each show.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Make every encounter a positive one, everyone has something to offer.

Dancing is a very physically exerting exercise – how do you maintain your health and stamina to make sure you are always at your peak?

Luckily, and other dancers will probably say this too, but dancing means that you automatically maintain health and stamina. I will dance, and be having fun doing it, and suddenly I have worked out for an hour and a half, without having had to go to take time out to go to the gym. I also like to run, and I eat very well.

What is the best thing about the performing arts community in Australia?

Compared to the USA and the UK, our talent pool is quite small so I feel there is more of an opportunity to make something of yourself. I guess it is all relative to the amount of work being produced in those countries, but I think there is definitely more opportunity, if you are willing to work hard.

Dein Perry and David Atkins (co-choreographers) are legends in the performing arts world – are you looking forward to working with them on this production?

Of course. When I first met David, he said to make every encounter a positive one, I guess that is where I got my best piece of advice from, and to try and learn something from everyone. David certainly has a lot to teach and I am grateful to be given this chance to work with him.

Rob is a true ‘triple threat’ performer with a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Staring his arts career at age six as an Irish dancer, Rob has worked on several Film and TV projects  including a docu-drama for the BBC, Desert Rats and a telemovie for the ABC, The Accidental Soldier.

Whilst a WAAPA, Rob payed major roles in a number of their productions including: Danny in Xanadu; Mr Biggley in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods. He was also chosen to play the role of Ray in Jim Cartwrights The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

Hot Shoe Shuffle opens at Lyric Theatre QPAC on May 4.

Visit for tickets and more information. 

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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