David Harris, Tony Sheldon and Euan Doidge star in Priscilla Queen of The Desert The Musical.
David Harris, Tony Sheldon and Euan Doidge star in Priscilla Queen of The Desert The Musical. Sam Tabone

REVIEW: Priscilla is a flamin’ good time

PRISCILLA is the cheekiest night out you'll have at the theatre this year.

Filled with sassy humour, hundreds of dazzling (and sometimes revealing) costumes and a busload of heart, the iconic glitter bomb of a musical made a much-welcomed return to QPAC's Lyric Theatre last night.

Based on Stephan Elliott's Oscar-winning film, Priscilla is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime.

Ten years on from the stage musical and more than two decades on from the film, the Aussie classic's central tale of self-discovery and acceptance takes on a new significance since last year's legalisation of same sex marriage.

Stage and screen veteran Tony Sheldon anchors the show, returning to the role he created for the original Australian, Broadway and West End productions.

Tony Sheldon in a scene from Priscilla Queen of The Desert The Musical.
Tony Sheldon in a scene from Priscilla Queen of The Desert The Musical. Sam Tabone

He still looks like he's having a ball as retired Les Girls performer Bernadette, a recently bereaved transgender woman who finds love again with outback mechanic Bob (Home and Away's Ray Meagher).

David Harris and Euan Doidge star alongside him as drag queens Tick and Felicia, the ground-breaking roles which helped to catapult Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving to international fame.

David Harris (Mitzi), Tony Sheldon (Bernadette) and Euan Doidge (Felicia) in a scene from Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical. Supplied by QPAC.
David Harris (Mitzi), Tony Sheldon (Bernadette) and Euan Doidge (Felicia) in a scene from Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical. Supplied by QPAC.

They are supported by a hard-working ensemble, who have so many costume changes you have to wonder where they store it all backstage.

Lena Cruz and Emma Powell both give scene-stealing performances - Cruz as Bob's mail-order bride Cynthia and Powell as the love-sick Broken Hill barmaid.

The colourful sets and costumes are like characters in themselves, and many are faithful recreations of those from the film.

 

Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce in a scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce in a scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Sometimes there's so much to look at on stage you wish you could pause the scene to take it all in.

This isn't a musical for the overly prudish, but for most theatre-goers the saucy jokes and dance moves will go down a treat. 

It's an excuse to frock up for a night out of singing, laughing and dancing in your seat (and the aisles).

Priscilla is on at QPAC through November 4.


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