Priscilla - Queen of the Desert

5
Touring production seen in Bristol.
By Becky - 29th Sep 2021

On a miserable, wet evening in Bristol, the Hippodrome came alive with a dazzling display of incredible costumes, high-energy song and dance routines, and an undisputed ping-pong champion.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert never fails to entertain, and last night’s show was no exception. This touring production is produced by Aussie and former Tick, Jason Donovan (along with Mark Goucher, Gavin Kalin, Matthew Gale and Laurence Myers), and there’s more than a few extra Kylie jokes sprinkled throughout, which only adds to the joy this show brings.

The plot is simple enough; drag star Tick/Mitzi travels across the Australian outback to meet his young son. He is joined on his travels by fellow queen Adam/Felicia, and former Lay-girl star, Bernadette. The trio set off by bus (Priscilla), and encounter rural Australia at its finest.

Littered with disco classics, it’s the music and costumes that really make Priscilla come alive, and a special shout out is due to costume designer Charlie Cusick-Smith for some outstanding outfits. Singing, dancing cupcakes, anyone?

It was a total joy to see each and every cast member giving everything to their performance last night. This is a tight-knit cast; that much is evident from their interactions throughout. However, I felt the dialogue cues were slow to be picked up. As an audience, we need that dialogue to be punchy and snappy; especially the retorts between the main three characters. At times I was wondering if people had dried. They hadn’t, thankfully, but those cues need to be taken up quicker. I do believe, though, that this cast has more than enough talent to iron out those teething problems.

I particularly loved the bond between Edwin Ray as Tick, Miles Western as Bernadette, and Nick Hayes as Adam. This was only enhanced by the arrival of Daniel Fletcher as Bob, and his relationship with Bernadette was touchingly and lovingly portrayed. All four gave outstanding performances; I felt and believed in the relationships played out on stage, and it’s perhaps the most emotive performance of Priscilla I’ve seen. I would happily watch the show over and over again. Bravo to all.

Becky Fuller


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