10th Jul, 2020

Dazzling Queen Priscilla reigns in Malvern until Saturday

Malvern Editorial 15th Oct, 2019

TWENTY-five years ago the quirky, low-budget movie about drag and friendship – ‘The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ was an instant hit.

Thirteen years ago the first Iconic stage musical production version also wowed its audiences.

Now there’s a new ‘Priscilla’ and the national tour launched triumphantly last night at Malvern Theatres.

Picture by Darren Bell. s

For the uninitiated, this is a musical adventure about three friends who happen to be drag queens, on a personal quest in a tour bus called Priscilla. They travel across Australia from Sydney to Alice Springs – and what a splendid journey it is!

Accomplished actor and ‘Strictly’ winner Joe McFadden is totally captivating as the gentle Tick/Mitzi, a queen with a past that includes fathering a son he has never seen – hence the reason for his journey.

He is joined for the fun of it by the outrageous but undeniably body-beautiful Felicia/Adam (played with lashings of passion and credibility by Nick Hayes) and the ageing Bernadette – a beautifully understated performance by Miles Western, which makes you listen and care.

Whilst Tick and Adam are gay men and female impersonators, Bernadette has had a sex change to become the woman that was born inside her body – quite a daring role to include in the original film 25 years ago and way before transgender was an acceptable conversation topic.

The trio are supported by a first-class singing and dancing ensemble, plus three magical divas, Rosie Glossop, Claudia Kariuki and Aiesha Pease; all of whom have lung power to raise the roof.

I have two special hat-doffing mentions; firstly Daniel Fletcher as Bob the heart of gold mechanic who falls for Bernadette and secondly Jacqui Sanchez as Bob’s outrageous bi-polar Thai-bride, who outrageously puts the ‘ping’ into Ping-Pong.

The ‘creatives’ include frantic and breathtaking choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves – spot-on direction from Ian Talbot, a wondrous collage of clap-a-long, sing-a-long musical arrangements by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy (thank you Spud for including one my all-time favourite classics – MacArthur Park) and stunning-glittering settings plus delectable and endless feathers and frocks by Charles Cusick-Smith and Phil R Daniels.

Hats off too, to Ben Cracknell for magical lighting and Ben Harrison for excellent sound – not an easy gig for this team with a zillion glittering sequins to contend with!

Long may this Queen reign – absolutely loved it and exited the auditorium with an aching jaw from laughing so much; tears of pure joy in my eyes and the happy pounding music of a great band under the musical direction of Sean Green.

Never has a musical revival been more timely – unmissable!

The show runs in Malvern until Saturday. Click here or call the box office on 01684 892277 for tickets, times and more information.

Review by Euan Rose.

*****

Star ratings explained

***** Fabulous – Drop everything and go

****   Very good – Definitely worth seeing

***     Good

**       OK

         Poor

Digital Advertising

Advertise on the Malvern Observer to boost your online presence.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Malvern Observer.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Malvern Observer.

Recruitment

Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.