Drag queens, pop and disco classics as Priscilla hits the town.
CTC has produced a flamboyant show, camp as Christmas with a plethora of jaw-dropping, innovative costumes, they need to be seen to be believed.
CTC delivered a fantastic show involving two drag queens, a transvestite, an abundance of pop and disco classics with enough glitter and sequins to sink a battleship in their latest production Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Loughborough’s Town Hall.
In a nutshell, Priscilla is based on the 1994 film of the same name and ten years later was turned into Australia’s largest musical theatre export touring worldwide hitting the West End stage in 2007 (anyone remember that huge shoe outside the Palace theatre?).
Plot-wise it is the tale of three drag artistes travelling from Sydney via the desert to Alice Springs in a battered pink bus they christen Priscilla, Tick (Mitzi) is going to meet his son for the first time, transvestite Bernadette to fill the loveless gap left by the death of her partner and Adam (Felicia) to fulfil his ambition to climb Ayers Rock to be and I quote ‘a jock in a frock on a rock!).
CTC has produced a flamboyant show, camp as Christmas with a plethora of jaw-dropping, innovative costumes, they need to be seen to be believed, and spectacular choreographed numbers to the music comprised of non stop 70s/80s dance floor classics that give a new lease of life and sparkle to the performance.
This revived production not only succeeds on visuals but the tremendous cast both principals and ensemble, sharing top billing Ashley Bright (Tick) Nick Sutcliffe(Bernadette) and Craig Butterworth (Felicia) couldn’t be faulted, the pitch perfect singing , the enthusiasm for their characters and the genuine chemistry between them was palpable and mention must be made of the ongoing relationship of Bernadette and Outback mechanic Bob played by Duncan Gadsby, it was emotive, poignant and touching.
There are no weak links in the hugely talented cast and the ensemble were outstanding working effortlessly through what seemed a thousand wildly extravagant costume changes brilliantly arriving at the ‘I Will Survive’ scene at the end of Act One.
All the musical numbers were executed with energy, enthusiasm and fun, two stood out for me ‘Macarthur Park’ and the creative ‘Casino Floorshow Montage’ leading to the spectacular show stopping finale in the reprise of ‘I Will Survive.’ However, delve beneath the glamour and glitz of this sparkling show, you will find there is a parallel story of friendship, love and understanding between the three men on a voyage of self-discovery all adding to this dazzling musical brimming with humour and heart.
By Lynette Watson