Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sydney’s Capitol Theatre | Review

Friday, 18 May 2018

Priscilla Queen of the Desert 
Capitol Theatre, Sydney 
Reviewed on Wednesday 16th May 2018 by Amy Mitchell 

Warning: Adjective Overload 

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, on it's 10th Anniversary tour, is an all bejewelling, all bedazzling, all singing (well mostly lip-syncing) all dancing, OTT, smut-fest, sprinkled with heaps of sentimentality. 

Based on the 1994 award winning Aussie comedy-drama movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert created by Stephan Elliott– This iconic Australian musical follows Sydney drag queen Tick (alter-ego, Mitzi Mitosis), Kylie Worshipper come sass machine, Felicia Jollygoodfellow and former glittering Les Girl, Bernadette as they jeté aboard their beaten up tour bus Priscilla. The trio embark on a voyage of friendship, self-love and acceptance as they “Go West” across the Aussie outback from Sydney to Alice Springs. 

Jam packed with jukebox disco bangers like Son of a Preacher Man, It’s Raining Men and I Will Survive – with vocals often led by three belting divas suspended from the rafters, this movie come musical is a camp as Christmas bonanza- yet, amidst all the frocks and fancies this show has heart. Our three main characters navigate through wild bush and even wilder prejudice while Tick prepares to reunite with his 6 year old son Benji, all the while battling the fear that he won’t be accepted for who he really is. 

The show is scattered with witty one-liners, innuendoes and sass a plenty – as a whole it lacked a bit of substance and moved at a pace that made it difficult to truly believe or understand the deep connections of the three main characters. The set was clumsy at times and some of the racial gags fell flat on the PC sensibilities of a 2018 audience. 

Back to the positives and don’t get me wrong they were bountiful! Euan Dodge slays as the naive yet outlandish Felicia, his debut rendition of Better The Devil You Know was a riotous affair. David Harris is brilliant as Tick, see-sawing between heartstring tugging ballads like True Colours to thumping disco tunes. Tony Sheldon plays Bernadette, a role he sharply delivers with class, poise and a fabulously acid tongue. 

The costumes! The costumes need an adjective of their own. An insanely fantastical abundance of glitter splattered, nonsensically superfluous garb that tickled the audience until curtain’s closed. 

Priscilla is more EXTRA than a Wrigley’s factory, and at it's heart a tremendously extravagant celebration of acceptance, draped in a kaleidoscope of colour and fun!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert runs at the Capitol Theatre until July 21st 2018


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