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June 16, 2017
Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Warwick Arts Centre, until June 18.
Amid the shrieks of the mainly female audience and the occasional flash of a tanned, muscular upper thigh, Priscilla Queen of the Desert exudes a light-hearted playfulness while staying faithful to the 1994 movie.
The musical tells the story of two drag queens and a transgendered man travelling through the Australian outback to perform drag shows in Alice Springs.
Although sticking to the script of the movie, with word-for-word dialogue, director-writer Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott have added a few more dance numbers, extra choreography and (hard to believe it would be possible) even more insanely impressive costumes.
The net result is they have infused Priscilla Queen of the Desert with an onstage presence that is unforgettable.
The effort that has gone into this stage production, from its costumes, the moving Priscilla van, the choreography, music, singing, engagement with the audience and the fantastic performers (Craig Garner, Steve Smith and Doug Gilbey-Smith), give the musical a cacophony of colour and noise that you are happy to let engulf you as you dance lightly in your seat with the audience member next to you.
The presence of the Tina Turner-loving pink bearded hostess, seems disjointed - appearing only twice and during the first half. It is only when flicking through the programme do you realise that this is in fact the artistic director Jamie Sheerman.
Priscilla the musical is not just a corny sing-along and comedic dancing from men dressed as women in over-the-top garb, this is a play about having fun.
Thursday night’s audience certainly did that, with a full house showing its appreciation with a standing ovation. This is not a show to miss. If you can get tickets for this weekend you’ll have a ball dancing and singing along with "a cock in a frock on a rock".
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