The Mayflower, Southampton – then touring
It has to be said that this is one of my favourite musicals ever, and the day it closed in the West End a little bit of sparkle left London for good. So to have it back touring the country is of huge delight to me, and I was thrilled to find that this special bus was stopping at my local theatre The Mayflower in Southampton.
As soon as the overture starts and the glitter ball spins, the excitement resonates throughout the auditorium. The divas (Lisa-Marie Holmes, Laura Mansell, Catherine Mort) suspended from the ceiling start belting out “Downtown”. They really are a powerful trio and have been superbly cast.
For those that are not aware, Priscilla started as a motion picture in 1994 and transferred to the Sydney stage in 2006 and finally opened in the West End in 2009. It’s the story of three drag queens who go to Alice Springs by a bus they name Priscilla to supposedly perform. However, for one of them Tick (Duncan James), it is so much more than that as he will be seeing his wife and his six-year-old son a secret that comes to the other two as a huge shock. Along their way they have some fun, heartache and adventures.
Duncan James plays Tick brilliantly his acting and delivery of comic lines were very well done and its no surprise that his singing is heaven. Simon Green as Bernadette brings the caustic quick wit that the character requires along with the class to hold the three together. Adam Bailey is Adam (Felicia) the outrageously daring nature to hide the vulnerability captured perfectly and the grace and stage presence was impressive.
Photo Credit Paul Coltas
As you can see from the pictures this is a spectacularly colourful show. The costumes are fantastic as is the staging and well the bus itself is obviously a star. All the cast are equally worthy of a mention but to name just a few that I enjoyed immensely were Callum MacDonald, Julie Yammanee and Philip Childs.
With many songs including Venus, Colour My World, Boogie Wonderland and Hot Stuff you cant help but dance in your seat. This is a ridiculously outrageously irreverent fantastically fun show that needs to be enjoyed with an open mind. One thing for sure if everyone looked upon the world as this shows creators do, or if we all had more sparkle and feather boas, the world would be a happier place. I guarantee you’ll leave the theatre with a grin on your face and a spring in your step, I know I did!
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL – TOURING
The Mayflower Southampton until 19th September
By Caroline Hanks-Farmer