REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Jason Donovan as Priscilla ANL-161002-110620001
Jason Donovan as Priscilla ANL-161002-110620001
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Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Theatre Royal, Norwich

What great fun this full-on musical based on the 1994 Aussie movie is! From the opening bars of Down Town, the pace doesn’t let up for a second as we meet three ‘ladies’, Tick, Bernadette and Felicia, on a road trip across Australia.

All three characters are cross-dressing misfits but their journey, in a battered bus called Priscilla, is both physical and emotional as they learn to love themselves again – all to a cracking 80s soundtrack! Expect to hear Boogie Wonderland, Venus, Go West, True Colours and more.

Star of the show is everyone’s favourite neighbour, Jason Donovan, who appeared in the original West End production in 2009. The sight of him, as Tick, in glitzy green pjs performing to Macarthur Park as numerous dancers dressed as cakes joined in, will stay with me for some time.

Adam Bailey plays the young and reckless Adam with great effect while Simon Green is almost uncanny as the ageing drag queen Bernadette.

But what I reckon grabs the headlines are the outrageous costumes, wigs and heels – they are worth the ticket price alone.

OK, so the show is touching, but subtle it ain’t - and is all the more enjoyable for it. It’s the perfect evening of escapist fun. And yes, the audience loved it!

The show continues until Saturday night.

Sarah Hardy