Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: Theatre Review


Priscilla Queen of the Desert first premiered in Sydney, Australia in 2006 and has since opened in Melbourne, New Zealand, London, Toronto and Broadway. The show follows the story of two drag queens and a transsexual making their way across the Australian outback in a Tour Bus called 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert'.
The glittery, camptastic show got my heart racing and my feet tapping. The score is made up of dance floor classics, including 'I will Survive', 'Go West' and 'Venus' and even though the songs have been brought up to date with the story the show still manages to keep the original feel to them and reminds us why we love them. I saw the show on the 14thof April and my expectations were nonexistent as i didn't know enough about the show.

The show opens with the 'Divas' making the ultimate entrance by flying from the top of the Palace Theatre, looking over Sydney singing the opening number, it wasn't too high energy but still enough to get us in the mood! The ensemble were a fantastic bunch, harmonies were wonderful.
The voices of the Divas were astounding; the way the voices blended together was just spellbinding, creating a way for the show to flow much easier. The show would be very loose and not well put together if these three talented girls didn't make an appearance now and then! Gemma O'Duffy and Lucinda Shaw were glorious, But for me, Charlotte Ruby was the star out of these three women. She sang 'I Will Survive' at the end of act one, which were some of the best vocals from any performer in the West End.
Oliver Thornton was energetic and fun as Adam/Felicia; bringing a great presence with him to the stage. Don Gallagher was also good as Bernadette, bringing a sophisticated and experienced character to the show.Richard Grieve was an average Tick/Mitzi; his performance was good but nothing special. Didn't wow me, but didn't disappoint. Not being a strong dancer, even at the little arm movements at points in the show.
Mark Moraghan was a good Bob, but looked a little too young, and Shelia Chilton (Marion), Kanako Nakano (Cynthia) Newley Aucutt (Miss Understanding) and Olivia Philip (Understudy Shirley) were also great aspects to the show.Costumes and set were fantastic; every detail looked like it had been put there for a reason (whether that is a real reason or just because it was just very camp!).
The storyline was fun, but I do feel the sentimental bits and the characters journeys were lost in the campness of the show, it's sad because the show has a great message.Everyone would enjoy this show, even really butch men! This show is a great addiction to the west end, bringing qualities that other shows haven't to London. You're missing out if you haven't seen this show, it's a great night out!

Rating:****

Priscilla Queen of the Desert closed on December 31st 2011 at the Palace Theatre



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