Priscilla – Queen of the Desert

Terry Wills gets lost in the desert songs.

The fun starts even before the curtain rises on this previous Tony Award winning musical. A booming soundtrack – shimmering glittering lights enveloping the theatre as the Downtown, the first of many disco classics, prepares a full house to sit back and enjoy what turns out to be a hand clapping, join in, musical delight.

The storyline concerns Tick, played by Jason Donovan, a wandering transsexual character who together with two drag queens travel across the remote Australian desert to perform their unique type of cabaret. Setting out from Sydney in a lavender coloured bus they get lost and subsequently encounter a variety of experiences including a gang of bigots that make it abundantly clear they disprove of blokes that wear frocks. Tick is a married man who has left home but yearns to see his young son Benji, which he eventually does thus ensuring a happy ending.

For me the storyline was runner-up to the instantly recognisable musical numbers including Downtown, Don’t Leave Me This Way, Colour My World, Go West and topping the lot I Will Survive. The strength of the production lies in the overall performances of the exuberant cast. Jason Donovan naturally stars, playing and singing his role to perfection but even if he wasn’t the headliner I’m convinced it would still be a great night’s entertainment.

How could it fail with such a dazzling array of outrageous costumes, hit parade numbers, and the looks of sheer exuberance on the faces of a talented cast that includes Simon Green, Adam Bailey, Philip Childs and Naomi Slights?

Parents please note that some of the language is coarse and certain scenes deemed as unsuitable for children. But as many Priscilla-loving devotes are aware of the contents they will be well aware of what is or isn’t acceptable.

Curtain down. Reprise medley of hit numbers. More shimmering lights and an audience standing and singing in appreciation to celebrate what had been a great night’s entertainment.