Jason Donovan and the cast of Priscilla Queen of The Desert arrived in Nottingham’s famous Theatre Royal this week. Donovan plays the part of Tick, a successful Sydney queen with a secret: an eight-year-old son he’s never met. When Tick’s sweet ex offers him a gig at her casino and a chance to spend time with his young son, he’s excited but hesitant. Tick decides not to go it alone, dragging along old-school showgirl Bernadette and whippersnapper Felicia – in a gigantic bus dubbed “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. As the glittering trio encounter rednecks, breakdowns and honky tonk bars along the Australian Outback, they remember who they really are – and find love in the most unexpected places.
Priscilla sets itself apart from mere camp. Along with sparkling wit, there’s real character development behind the dirty jokes. Though they’re mainly elaborate production numbers, the transitions from dialogue to song feel quite organic. Thanks to the excellent writing and the three leads’ stellar performances, you’ll empathize with the main characters: Tick’s refusal to label his sexuality and his terror at how his son will perceive him; Bernadette’s loneliness and longing for a showgirl era gone by; and Felicia’s puppyish energy that sometimes leads to trouble. The message of embracing one’s true nature is never forced, and a few sad scenes show that most of the world has a lot to learn.
The best part of Priscilla, however, is its costumes. Nothing is simple or muted, everything is elaborate and bright. From towering wigs to elegant gowns to outfits made of flip-flops, Priscilla’s costume design is a constant source of surprise and delight: even those who have seen the movie may gasp in delight at the live theatre manifestation
To get tickets for the Nottingham Leg of the tour check out http://www.trch.co.uk/ or call their Box Office on 0115 989 5555
For more tour information and the full cast list, the official website is http://www.priscillathemusical.com