As a big fan of the 1994 The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert film, I was thrilled when I found out that it was touring as a show again, and even better, that Duncan James would be playing the role of Tick in a leg of the tour (Jason Donovan playing the same role at other venues).
I went to the performance in Brighton at the Theatre Royal, as due to following the band Blue since their formation, I definitely wanted to support Duncan James who is a member of the band, and make sure that I saw him perform. I managed to see him in London’s West End years before, playing the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago, and therefore already knew what an amazing performer he is.
If you’re not familiar with The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the storyline follows three characters, Tick, Ralph, and Adam, however Ralph is a transsexual who would rather be known as Bernadette, and Tick and Adam more often refer to each other by their drag names, Mitzi and Felicia. With Mitzi and Felicia’s drag careers on the verge of failure, and the death of Bernadette’s young lover, the three decide to embark on an adventure to perform at a resort which has them travelling across the Australian desert in a bus they name Priscilla.
The show was full of laughs from the start, and included all hit songs from the film such as “I Will Survive”, “I’ve Never Been To Me”, and “Shake Your Groove Thing”. Along with other well known songs added which kept the audience singing, dancing, and clapping the whole way through.
Duncan James as Tick was extremely convincing, portraying both sides of the character so well. Tick becomes more of a complex character, because not only is he a man dressing and performing as a woman for his job, we also find out that he’s a father, and therefore has an example to set to his son. I felt like Duncan really brought out these fun, camp, and then more serious elements.
Adam Bailey played the very excitable, very over the top Felicia, and his immaturity was definitely captured, which is important, as it is needed to contrast with the other characters in order for the audience to realise how much younger he is than them.
Duncan obviously received the biggest applause as the most well-known cast member, and it was extremely well deserved, yet it was Simon Green playing the role of Bernadette who also really caught my attention. His portrayal was so convincing, and so true to the original film, that if I closed my eyes, I could have believed that it was Terence Stamp on stage (Bernadette in the film), as even the well-spoken, British accent sounded exactly the same.
The show is still touring the UK through to next year, playing at various venues, all of which can be found at priscillathemusical.com. I enjoyed the show so much that I may consider looking at the 2016 show dates available.
If you’re a lover of all things, over the top, glitzy, comical, and musical, then I would definitely recommend getting tickets to see this if you haven’t done already.
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