Priscilla Queen of the Desert at The Churchill Theatre

It’s time!!! Priscilla Queen of the Desert is back at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley showing from Monday 25th – Saturday 30th October and I had the privilege of witnessing the fun and the fire of opening night. The musical is based on the Oscar-winning movie and tells the hilarious and heart-warming adventure of three friends who jump aboard a beat up old bus heading for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime. Each number is a classic so you have to fight the urge to sing-a-long and stand up in the aisles and dance (until the end).

The principals Bernadette (Miles Western), Adam (Nick Hayes) and Tick (Edwin Ray) do not disappoint, their dynamic personalities complement each other beautifully and create an openness for the audience so they can enjoy their journey with them. Humour and love is definitely at the heart of this show and both of these aspects are nailed by these three queens. Western de-li-vers every single joke on a silver platter, champagne included! He has impeccable comic timing and that was evident by the continuous laughter throughout the show and I think that this helped keep the show moving at a perfect pace; dialogue was snappy but not rushed, there were pauses to let you feel but then it swiftly moved on. I appreciated this so much!

Unfortunately, I was not bowled over by the Divas in this show and for me this was disappointing. They were not the dynamic in sync trio that I expected. I felt a lack of energy and fierceness which during ensemble numbers made them stand out for the wrong reasons. Vocally though they were fantastic, whether alone and belting out ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ or together in three part harmony during ‘Hot stuff’ they delivered. Speaking of which; ‘HOT STUFF’ is THE number of this show – Hayes’ performance is full of emotion, vulnerability and longing. You do not take your eyes off of them at any point and nor do you want to. The ensemble supports Hayes in a way that only elevates the number. I genuinely wanted to stand on my feet when it was done! 

The choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves is energetic, fun and perfectly appropriate for each of the numbers within the show. This has been beautifully cleaned and taken care of by dance captain Nathan Ryles – the ensemble were tight and strong throughout and they were always dancing with a purpose. I must do a special shout out to Jak Allen-Anderson who was a stand out performer in every number last night. I must say one of my favourite things about the choreography in this show is how it is used to change the scenery – just thank you and bravo!

This entire show has you feeling all the feels; one minute you are laughing your head off and the next you’re shedding tears. It is definitely one of my favourite versions of this production that I have seen. I was left wanting more and for me that’s when you know a show has been successful!

Review by Laura Whittingham

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is on at The Churchill Theatre until the 30th October and it continues it’s tour from there. Visit their website to find out where else it is going on tour and to book tickets.

If you like this review you might also like my review of Rocky Horror Show, The Play That Goes Wrong and Grease.

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