Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Review: Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour) at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour) 
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 26th October 2015

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is possibly the greatest party musical ever created. Bringing out the wild side of Aylesbury audiences, the show provided perfect Monday evening escapism. This was my second time seeing the show and, once again, the experience was unforgettable.

Adapted from the 1994 movie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert follows two drag queens and a transsexual who embark on an eventful journey across the remote Australian desert. The musical is packed with pop and disco classics - many around me didn't even try to resist the urge to sing along, and I couldn't blame them.

The touring set is notably scaled down from the West End production which famously ran at the Palace Theatre between 2009 and 2011. However, thankfully the bus has received an upgrade and is a little more impressive than the one used on the last tour.

Whilst the set may be flimsy, the costumes never fail to dazzle. My friend and I spent most the interval discussing how the cast even manage to put the costumes on, let alone how they were created. Costume designer Tim Chappel is the true star of the show.

Jason Donovan has once again reprised his performance as Tick. Donovan's vocals weren’t always at their peak, but he totally embraced the energy from the adoring audience (who gave him huge entrance applause). Donovan seemed to be having fun throughout and provides some very funny moments - the Kylie scene is hilarious. 

A star turn comes from Adam Bailey who constantly steals the spotlight as Felicia. As well as showing off his powerful vocal talents, Bailey owns the stage, delivers one-liners impeccably and performs with the right amount of heart.

Simon Green is a total delight as Bernadette; his presence is so effortless yet empowering. Although I was sad not to see them descending from the sky, Lisa-Marie Holmes, Laura Mansell and Catherine Mort were formidably sassy as the divas. The incredibly talented ensemble always brighten up the stage.

Despite the show felling a little tired, audiences still can't get enough of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The story is a little plain and the design isn't as impressive as other current UK tours, but Priscilla provides a wonderful excuse to let your hair down and have some fluffy fun.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Priscilla Queen of the Desert runs at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until 31st October 2015. Please note Jason Donovan shares the role of Tick with Duncan James. Please visit www.priscillathemusical.com for further information, full tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Paul Coltas

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