prscilla cast

Priscilla, Queen of The Desert

The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

****

THE progression from film to stage was never really a surprise for this unashamedly camp tale of three drag artists making their way across the Ozzie outback to perform an extra special show.

All the right show elements are in therjason donovane in spades; larger than life characters, a pulsating track list and sizzling routines that can't fail to induce happiness.

A simple plot , perhaps, but this is all about the journey – a journey that has no time to stop for twists and turns in the story line.

This is a road movie coloured pink - Summer Holiday in heels - An orgy of double entendres, constant innuendo and no small measure of thrusting. It could feel tacky but it doesn't thanks to its breathless energy and real sense of joy.

Whilst the storyline may be simple, the contrast between the three main characters is well defined, both in the writing and the playing.  

'Jason Donovan gives real depth to Mitzi – a man torn between fantasy and fatherhood.'

These are real people with their own stories and their own baggage. The young, full on queen. The older, wiser matriarch and the undecided one. It's a strong and watchable dynamic and much more interesting than having three carbon copy stereotypes.

Jason Donovan gives real depth to Mitzi – a man torn between fantasy and fatherhood. It's a role he's done many times before but the freshness and commitment has not faded.

Adam Bailey pouts and parades to stratospheric levels as the highly excitable Felicia while Simon Green delivers some of the show’s best lines as Bernadette with divaesque aplomb.

Fine work, too, from a blistering ensemble that never loses power or energy. Choreography is precise and exciting throughout the show.

With a set boasting more phallic symbols than Caligula and an array of clever, inventive costumes, the visuals are stunning and suitably camp. The all important bus that takes them through back water towns is an impressive feature too.

Brassy, bold and brimming with joy, this is simple, feel good showbiz pizazz at its best. See it. It will make you smile and, if you are a bloke , it may even confirm your secret desire to put on a frock and mime to Kylie’s greatest hits. Runs until Saturday 24 October.

Tom Roberts

20-10-15

Contents page  Alex Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre