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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Three drag queens travel across Australia to a casino in Alice Springs on their unreliable bus, Priscilla, so one of them can meet his six-year-old son for the first time. On the way they encounter prejudice of various sorts from the locals in some remote outback watering holes. This they diffuse, with varying degrees of success, by performing their act, which consists of miming to disco classics in outlandish costumes.

Priscilla, originally a film then in 2006 a musical, was ground-breaking in its previous incarnations, featuring gay and transgender characters as its protagonists. It probably opened the door to shows like Kinky Boots and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. It arrives now in a different time, with the world of drag queens now more open and visible to general audiences through those shows and on TV the likes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. But it still retains its original intention of proclaiming the rights of gay and transgender people and this is still, sadly, a necessary message. 

In this aim the show is often successful, with the leading lady Bernadette (Miles Western) dealing with transphobia and homophobia via waspish put-downs or, in one case, swift physical violence. The overall light-hearted tone, set largely by the impressively staged musical numbers, also creates a warmth around the three leads who, in most conventional settings, would seem out of place and outlandish. 

Saturday, 12 June 2021

COMING HOME: Liam Dean, about to head out on tour with Hairspray

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

Before the pandemic, Liam Dean’s career in theatre was really kick-starting. Having only just graduated in 2019, Liam joined the touring cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as a swing and also had another job, the touring production of Hairspray, on the horizon. Joining Priscilla in February meant his time with the show was cut incredibly short and his next venture was also in jeopardy. But after a long year, things are starting to look much better. We met with Liam at the Shaftsbury Theatre, the original home to Hairspray when it made its London debut!

Although the tour of Priscilla will start up again, Liam will finally be joining the Hairspray tour playing Fender and also covering Corny Collins. Although he is sad to be leaving the Priscilla bus behind, he moves onto another one of his dream jobs and can’t wait to see his fellow Queens fly the flag around the UK. “This show (Priscilla) will always have a special place in my heart and I would love to see the show back up and running and see all my colleges from that show giving the incredible performances I got to witness!”

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

10 Songs that are used in more than one musical

Inspired by the release of the Moulin Rouge musical cast recording, we noticed that quite a few of the songs have been used in more than one musical. Following some research, we've pulled together a list of 10 songs that are featured in more than one musical, from Jukebox to Rodgers and Hammerstein theres some surprises! 

Whats Love Got to Do with It

The Song was originally sung by Tina Turner and released in 1984, the song went to number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks. This song is, of course, featured in the musical TINA: The Tina Tuner Musical. This musical tells the story of Turners life and originally opened in London in 2018 with a Broadway production planed to open in November 2019. The song is also sung by Miss Understanding in the musical version of the Australian film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It is also featured briefly in the musical version of Moulin Rouge in the Elephant Medley.


Monday, 14 October 2019

INTERVIEW: Emma Kingston, about to star in London Musical Theatre Orchestra's A Night At The Musicals

Emma Kingston has just finished playing the title role in the international touring production of Evita, under the direction of original director Hal Prince. She is also about to star in A Night at the Musicals on tour starting with the Royal and Derngate in Northampton on 22nd October. Her other credits include Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre); Naomi in 21 Chump Street (Tristan Bates Theatre); Vanessa in In the Heights (King’s Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse); Clara in The Light in the Piazza (Bernie Grant Arts Centre); Ensemble/cover Éponine in Les Misérables (Queens Theatre); Diva 1 in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Miss Lynch/cover Jan in Grease (UK tours); Honeymoon in Vegas (London Palladium) and Something Wonderful (Royal Festival Hall).

You’re appearing in A Night at the Musicals with the London Musical Theatre Orchestra on tour very soon, tell us a bit about how this opportunity came about for you. 

I have had some amazing opportunities to work with LMTO previously. It all started around 3 years ago when I went to my first LMTO Playthrough, now called “SITZ” . Since then Freddie and I have worked a lot together, one thing being my solo cabaret at Zedels, he was my MD. So when he asked if I was available for this concert, I jumped at the chance.

Tell us a bit about this upcoming show, A Night at the Musicals. 

It’s going to be a musical extravaganza. All your favourite contemporary musical pieces in one show with a 30 piece orchestra.

What kind of songs can we expect you to sing at London Musical Theatre Orchestras A Night at the Musicals? 

You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out! 

Friday, 15 March 2019

Priscilla Queen of the Desert announces full casting and further tour dates

Mark Goucher and first-time producer Jason Donovan have today announced that their brand-new production of the much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical will extend its UK tour dates through to 2020. The show, which was announced last year, and will star Strictly Come Dancingwinner Joe McFadden, will tour the UK and Ireland from September 2019. It marks Donovan’s first time as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours. The producing team is completed by Gavin Kalin and Matthew Gale. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical will preview in Dartford from 5 September 2019.

Full tour dates include: Dartford; Bradford; Rhyl; Milton Keynes; Wimbledon; Malvern; Blackpool; Leicester; Edinburgh; Liverpool; Inverness; Manchester; Brighton; Southampton; Plymouth; Nottingham; Dublin; Cambridge; Newcastle; Southend; Sheffield; Carlisle; Woking; Ipswich; Hull; Oxford; Birmingham; Northampton; Glasgow; Cardiff; Bristol. 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Mark Goucher & Jason Donovan to produce new touring version of PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT

Mark Goucher is joining forces with first time producer Jason Donovan to create a brand new production of the much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The show makes a perfect vehicle for Donovan to begin his life as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours. The producing team will be completed by Gavin Kalin and Matthew Gale. The production will open in Dartford in September 2019 and will then tour throughout the UK and Ireland.

Jason Donovan said: “Having spent years performing and always harbouring the desire to become more involved in the creative process, I am delighted to be joining Mark Goucher as producer on this wonderful show. Priscilla is perfect vehicle to venture into the world of producing and bringing all my experience on the show seems the logical next step. Priscilla is such a wonderful Australian story about diversity. It is a modern musical with a great heart.” 

The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever before, featuring a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife, Finally and many more.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

REVIEW: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

Based on the hit 1994 film and after enjoying successful runs on both the West End and Broadway, ‘Priscilla: Queen of the Desert’ makes its regional professional premiere at the Queen’s theatre Hornchurch. This also marks the first time the show has been done as actor-musician following suite from their production of ‘Made in Dagenham’ and looking forward to their future production of ‘Once’.

Personally I’ve never been a fan of making a show actor-musician unless it adds something to the concept or is integral to the narrative of this show, and in this instance, to a degree, whilst always impressive, is slightly damaging. It unfortunately limits the ensemble from really getting involved in a show, hindering the choreography and direction of a piece that is at its heart about togetherness, community and celebration. 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Casting announced for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

Full casting has been announced for the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s regional professional premiere of the glamorously feel-good musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It runs at the theatre from 27 April – 26 May. 

Mark Inscoe is thrilled to be reviving the role of Bernadette having previously performed the part in the West End production. Playing Tick is Tom Giles (Ragtime, Charing Cross Theatre; Muse of Fire, Shakespeapriscilre’s Globe) and Adam will be performed by Daniel Bailey (Motown the Musical, Shaftesbury Theatre; The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre).

They will be joined by Miracle Chance, Michael Cuckson, Molly-Grace Cutler, Clara Darcy,Lemuel Knights, Natasha Lewis, Tom Self, Lauren Storer and Josh Tye. 

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will be directed by the Queen’s Theatre’s Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul (Rope, The Crucible, Made in Dagenham). He says, ‘Following on from our hit production of Made in Dagenham, I was keen to make another regional premiere of a great modern musical at the Queen’s Theatre. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is absolutely ripe for a new, more intimate, stripped back, actor-musician midscale production. The film blew me away back in the mid-1990s - it’s a great story of friendship and empowerment and is packed full of top tunes, fierceness, fun and poignancy - what more could one ask for?’

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Pocket Size Theatre 5th Anniversary: The top 10 best shows we've ever seen!

One of the more recent productions on the list, Mark Swale seemed to be very impressed by this production. The show, which started at the Southwark Playhouse, went on to play to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to London's West End. 

"This is a fun show and one that is needed in London at the moment. Its an alternative to The Book of Mormon and a quarter of the price. This is on our must see list so make sure you head down down to the Arts Theatre and see this whilst its around!"

The only fringe musical on the list, Salad Days played at the Union Theatre in 2017 and its success was incredible. James-Lee Campbell, one of our favourite reviewers, loved this show and we can totally see why! 

"For a couple of hours it will transport the audience away from all the doom and gloom we face day to day... Go and see Salad Days for a touch of ol’ fashioned musical theatre glamour and joy." 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Bright and bold; it’s a real slap in the face musical!

Bursting on stage with drag queens aplenty, Priscilla Queen of the Desert doesn’t take you on a journey but rather the ride of your life in a show that flies faster than the speed of light. Brash and garish in style and colour, this is also a show with real heart and warmth largely to some stellar performances and strong ensemble work.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Top 10 jukebox musicals

Mamma Mia 

Priscilla Queen of the Desert 


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.
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