Book: Stephan Elliot &Allan Scott
Director: Simon Phillips
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
The Priscilla bus has rolled into town once again and Tick, Bernadette and Adam and their gloriously garish set of wheels continue to draw in the crowds, over 20 years after the classic movie and ten years since it’s first appearance as a stage musical.
The tale of three drag artistes and their quest across the Australian Outback in a battered bus so Tick can meet his six year old son for the first time, Bernadette can fill the void left by the death of her partner and Felicia can climb Ayres Rock and be a ‘jock in a frock on a rock’, is driven by thirty of pop music’s campest classics and a message of tolerance, decency and plain old love of life.
The atmosphere is set from the off, the first notes ringing around the auditorium accompanied by rainbow hued glitter ball sparkles, has the sold-out audience clapping and singing along before the curtain rises.
This revamped production not only delivers on visuals (the costumes remain eye-popping and the bus is actually a bus this time instead of a skeleton frame) but in it’s cast too, which is one of the finest in memory. Sharing top billing on this tour are Jason Donovan, Darren Day and Priscilla veteran Jason Donovan, Glasgow’s Tick/Mitzi is Blue’s Duncan James. James proves to be a revelation, imbuing the role with the genuine warmth and enthusiasm it needs, he’s also in fine voice and sure of foot too. James is wonderfully complimented by Simon Green’s Bernadette and Adam Bailey’s Adam/Felicia, both delivering pitch-perfect performances, the easy chemistry between the trio of leads is a joy to watch. Worth mentioning too is the touching relationship between Bernadette and Outback mechanic Bob, played out beautifully by Simon Green and Philip Childs.
Priscilla’s manages to deliver a message of real substance behind all the camp glitz and glamour and as a result remains a sure-fire winner all these years on – long may its wheels keep turning.
Runs until Saturday 2 April 2016 | Image: Paul Coltas