Camp queen of the desert delights

First published in Reviews Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , entertainment reporter

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

OPERA HOUSE, MANCHESTER

Until February 23

 

THE campest show around has landed in a flurry of feathers, fishnets and fake eyelashes.

Expect drag queens glammed up to the nines in bright frocks, huge headgear and layers of make-up in this exuberant romp of a musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Based on 1994 Australian comedy-drama film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the show tells the story of three pals who hop aboard a bus and hit the road searching for love and friendship.

Prepare to see 80s soap star and pop heart throb Jason Donovan as you have never seen him before – playing Tick and his crossing-dressing alter ego Mitzi.

Longing to see his young son Benji, played by cute as a button star in the making Adam Beaver, he brings the right amount of flamboyance and emotion to the role.

Joining him on his journey is Bernadette, played by former soap star Richard Grieve who has appeared in Neighbours, Home and Away and Emmerdale.

He puts in a convincing and entertaining performance as the aging transsexual who strikes up a friendship with Bob the beer-swilling mechanic.

Completing the colourful trio is Graham Weaver who plays excitable Adam and his alter ego, Felicia, strutting his stuff in an array of eye-catching costumes.

Celebrated cheesy, disco-pop anthems including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Hot Stuff had the audience clapping and toe-tapping along in delight.

Emma Kingston, Ellie Leah and Laura Mansell showcased their spot-on vocals as the floating, singing Divas, suspended high above the stage.

Frances Mayli McCann got one of the biggest laughs of the night thanks to her highly amusing routine, playing Cynthia – Bob’s mail order bride with a penchant for performing.

By the end, the audience had risen to its feet to show their appreciation for the unashamedly loud and extravagant drag spectacular of a show.

If camp, showstopping flamboyance is your cup of tea then hop aboard Priscilla for a heart-warming, uplifting adventure before she leaves town on February 23.

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