Review: Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – The Musical, Grand Opera House

Bound for adventure on Priscilla the bus… Jason Donovan leads a colourful cast
3 Dec 2015 @ 9.49 am
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Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

Grand Opera House, York

Till Sat Dec 5


Theatre website

I had waited some time to see this show. It has been a long time since I had watched the 1994 film (starring Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp) and I was keen to see Jason Donovan in the lead role.

The story is based on two drag queens, Tick (Donavan) and Felicia (Adam Bailey), and their transvestite friend Bernadette (Simon Green).

A tender moment on the Australian odyssey
A tender moment on the Australian odyssey

Asked to perform a show on the other side of Australia, they must journey from Sydney to Alice Springs. Tick has a son there so it is this that led him and his friends to make the journey.

Picture three very flamboyant individuals on a pink bus named Priscilla) travelling into outback Australia. It certainly creates a culture shock with the locals – and is a perfect platform for self discovery.

A great adventure

I Will Survive: Jason Donovan as you've never seen him
I Will Survive: Jason Donovan as you’ve never seen him

From start to finish this musical adaptation was a great adventure. It comes complete with elaborate dance routines, even more elaborate costumes, and is set to some pop and disco classics – I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Boogie Wonderland, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and many more.

The show is extremely uplifting, very funny and features a wonderfully colourful cast. I was moved by a stand out performance from Simon Green as Bernadette, exploring some sensitive issues facing a character who simply wanted to be loved.

As for the set it was simple but very effective – a moving bus from which the three friends emerged in many and varied costumes. Those outfits were amazing – and the shoes…

A thoroughly enjoyable show, and I would not hesitate in booking to see it again. Leaving with I Will Survive still ringing in my ears, it felt truly exhilarating.