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THEATRE REVIEW: FTN reviews Priscilla: Queen of the Desert – The Musical

August 1st, 2013 by Big Phil Comments

Priscilla: Queen of the Desert – The Musical
Grand Opera House, Belfast

Direct from the West End and starring Noel Sullivan, the feel-good international hit sensation Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical is now at the Grand Opera House Belfast for one week only!

Winner of four awards, including Best New Musical, and based on the smash-hit movie, Priscilla is the heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they had ever dreamed of.

With a dazzling array of outrageous Olivier and Tony award-winning costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Priscilla: Queen of the Desert – The Musical is the stage adaption from the famous Australian film that starred Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp as three drag artists. The stage version, while remaining faithful to the original story, firmly stamps its own platform heels onto the theatre stage with a scale and scope like never before.

The three main characters, Noel Sullivan as Tick, Graham Weaver as Felicia and Richard Grieve as Bernadette, oh and let’s not forget the fourth character, Priscilla herself (the coach that virtually takes on a life of its own), sing and dance and spill their hearts out to the audience from one disco hit to the next.

The script, whilst containing much of the quotable lines from the movie, has been expanded and now encompasses a larger backing group as they provide some of the vocals for the drag troupe to mime to.

This live musical version is certainly one of the highlights to this musical and indeed the vibrant music is matched only to the equally vibrant costumes that the main and supporting cast leap and out of. In fact, the whole show is a two hour visual extravaganza!

Whilst Graham Weaver and Richard Grieve capture the lingo and character traits perfectly, sadly the only drawback is the mis-casting of Noel Sullivan as Tick. Whilst there is no denying that Noel certainly has the vocal capabilities, he simply lacks the ‘campiness’ (and Auzzie accent) that the role requires. However, it is thanks to his supporting players that the trio works finest when they are purely miming and dancing to their respective glitter-ball numbers.

The stage hands move the set pieces as fast as the beats in the music dictate and the lighting is spot on; all thanks to a very slick and colourful direction, whilst the backing singers and dancers literally soar into the air! Even Priscilla herself trundles along the desert whilst providing her won personality along the way.

Priscilla: Queen of the Desert – The Musical is most definitely the glossiest, vibrant, feather-boa musical to grace the theatre, and if that isn’t a good enough reason to watch it, then what is?

3 out of 5 Nerds




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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!

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