I recently lucked out in acquiring a ticket to ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ after unwittingly telling a friends I wanted to see it, then finding out she had a spare ticket – win! And what a win – a gloriously feminine and fabulously pink musical entertained all with glitzy songs and hilarious (and very sexually liberated) actors.
Firstly, if I’d ever wondered what happened to Noel from HearSay (not convinced I was ever concerned for his welfare but still), here he was in all his glory, playing a hugely empathetic Tick/Mitzi, who’s search for his identity as a father fuels the play and prompts a huge love for his character’s confusion. Richard Grieve was the beautiful Bernadette, proving once and for all that you don’t need to be a man to have balls, and finally Graham Weaver was the ditzy Adam/Felicia, who – despite being outrageously good fun – highlighted the underlying stigma that is still associated with homosexuality despite our supposedly enlightened society. The stunning trio never failed to lift the audiences’ spirits, showing that when life knocks you down the right shoes will always pick you back up.
I think one of my favourite inclusions was Bob (Giles Watling), who quite beautifully showed how wonderful life can be if our prejudices are put aside and (rather cheesily but nonetheless touchingly) we appreciate people for their inner character, and not just how they choose to style themselves. Likewise, Tik’s son was a touching reminder that, when you can’t choose your family, you have to embrace them – frocks and all!
Priscilla’s journey across the desert definitely isn’t a dry and lifeless affair – there hasn’t been a musical yet that I’ve come out of feeling more uplifted and wanting to embrace my inner diva from in a long time, and the 80s soundtrack is definitely the key factor in this – there wasn’t a non-toe-tapping foot in the theatre! The ensemble, the dangling divas providing the background vocals, and of course the three lovely ladies themselves create an electric atmosphere, and whilst there’s perhaps nothing overly deep about Priscilla, there is just a subtle reminder that we cannot limit our thinking – life is just as brilliant outside the box as in it, if not more so!