Priscilla Queen of the Desert
October 14th - October 19th
The iconic musical PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT is coming to Malvern Theatres!
Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, PRISCILLA is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.
With more glitter than ever before, this smash-hit show features a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including HOT STUFF, I WILL SURVIVE, I LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE and FINALLY!
Running time: approximately 2 hours 30 minutes, including interval.
Production photographs by Darren Bell
Choice Radio Worcester
During the last two tours of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in 2012 and 2015, the role of Tick/Mitzi was taken by Jason Donovan. For the current tour, which happily has Malvern as part of its run, that role is taken by Joe McFadden, who has only recently come out of playing a somewhat different character in Peter James's The House on Cold Hill. Not leaving the show totally though, Jason Donovan is one of the producers of this version which, given his long association with the show, has allowed the creative team to re-imagine the production and make it, well, even more spectacular!
If anything, it seems strange that the show has only been in the theatre for 13 years, first being staged in Australia 12 years after the film was a smash hit.
It certainly brings together everything you would hope for - a really fantastic choice of mostly up-tempo songs - ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘Go West’, ‘Hot Stuff’- and some gentler ones such as ‘Say a Little Prayer’ and 'Always on My Mind’ (for this is not just the story of the trio's stage personas but also their private lives), amazing and ensemble backing singers, a very creative stage set and, of course, the costumes. This is one show where the costume department really can go over the top and they do - "Dancing paintbrushes?" "No problem!" "Skirts to look like fruity cup cakes?" "Certainly!".
The whole show is a celebration of a lifestyle which rocks to the core the macho man and country boy inhabitants of the small-town and small-minded Outback.
Along with Joe McFadden (always smiling and obviously thoroughly enjoying being in such an iconic show) are Miles Western as the matriarch of the team who has seen better days (a high point being her explanation as to why her former lover was called "trumpet"!) and Nick Hayes as the young upstart Felicia/Adam, along with Daniel Fletcher as Bob, not looking for love but maybe finding it in unexpected places… It's amazing what other things come from unexpected places…!
And then, hidden away somewhere underground, was an excellent 7-piece band who added so much to the live performances on stage
The theatre was pretty much packed out to the rafters (and the full audience gave an amazing response at the end of the show) and it remains so for the rest of the week too.
Only a stone's throw from Malvern's British Camp, this is Australian Camp at its finest - Out, Proud and very, very Loud! And, as it states in the programme, it's a message to those who "may be less tolerant and understanding".
A perfect antidote to a cold wet dank evening - or any evening for that matter!
My husband and I attended the performance of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on Monday 14th October and very much enjoyed it. We found the stage production very good although it was marred at times by being able to see stage hands working at the rear of the stage whilst the performers were singing and dancing. The costumes were good; the cake scene was particularly inventive. The cast all worked amazingly hard to give the audience a wonderful experience and we especially enjoyed the powerful singing of the three 'Divas'. Miles Western was brilliant as Bernadette and Nick Hayes was similarly excellent but we were disappointed in the performance of Joe McFadden who, at times, seemed a little uncomfortable in the role. However, it was a wonderful show overall and we will recommend it to friends and family.
One point I would like to complain about is the programme which contains mostly adverts and lists of the cast's previous experience - which though important for employers is not really of great interest to the audience. In my opinion a programme should be more about the show, the performance rehearsals, the history of the play and who wrote it. It would also be interesting to have some insight into how costumes are designed and stage sets constructed - and of course lots more photos. I consider £4.00 a huge amount to pay for what is basically 2 pages of information and a front cover. I realise there was a souvenir brochure but that was far more expensive at £10.00 and considering how popular the show was with the audience on Monday I did not see many purchases of that made on our visit.