Nottingham Theatre Royal – until 1 February 2020
Reviewed by Louise Ford
Priscilla Queen of the Desert is back. Buckle up it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
It’s been a few years since I last saw the musical of Priscilla in Nottingham, with Jason Donovan, who is now a Producer on this new production, so I was a little apprehensive if it would live up to my memories. I need not have had any concerns.
The show does not disappoint with its mixture of high camp, sequins, disco music, sequins and dance routines.
In essence the show is about the journey of an unlikely trio; two drag queens Mitzi (Joe McFadden) and Felicia (Nick Hayes) and a transsexual Bernadette (Miles Western). From the city lights of Sydney to Alice Springs, to a promised gig; coupled with a plea for acceptance and understanding for all people of homosexuality and transgenderism.
The show starts with a blast of disco sounds complete with tiny silver disco pants and a drag act. There are camp cabaret acts, some crude comedy and crazy choreography and lots of sequins, feathers and elaborate outfits.
Joe McFadden (Tick/Mitzi) brings a boyish charm to his starring role and clearly enjoys himself with the dance routines and songs. Miles Western (Bernadette) is elegant and graceful and works her inner Hollywood glamour of the 40s in her tea dresses and silk dressing gowns. Nick Hayes (Felicia/Adam) is a firecracker of high camp, pathos, and bitchiness
The narrative is moved along by the heavenly trio of Divas (Aiesha Pease, Claudia Kariuki and Rosie Glossop) who are sassy and gorgeous with their matching hairdos and sequined dresses. They manage to steal the show whenever they are on stage, with their outstanding vocals and shimmering routines. The ensemble is vibrant and enthusiastic and delivers all of the routines with energy. They are superbly supported by The Band who are excellent and don’t miss a disco beat!
The show has a happy ending with an audience called for encore and a somber plea from the cast for a “silent” collection for the recent disaster in Australia.