Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Priscilla Queen of the Desert Image credit:

Old Compton Street, for those not familiar with this road which slices through London’s Soho district it’s the Capital’s gay epicentre. As one would expect the street is a proud flamboyant strip with colourful pubs and bars celebrating the accustomed gay scene and a celebration of freedom.

Just round the corner another incident is unrevealing, once again involving sexual minorities, this time the story involves drag queens. Mitzi, Bernadette and Felicia are embarking on a journey to the Lasseter’s Hotel Casino to perform their drag act. There are a few factors which stand in their way, the first being is that their long journey will take them through the Simpson Desert – but luckily they have a tour bus to save those high heels from getting worn and torn. There’s also the matter the Hotel is managed by Mitzi’s ex-wife and mother to his young son who is unaware of his father’s sexuality and garish lifestyle.

In case the pink penny hasn’t dropped yet we find ourselves inside the Palace Theatre for a performance of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and a stage-adaption of the 1994 movie which starred Guy Pearce. The Australian story became a box-office success story and the  show, which first opened in 2006 at Sydney’s Star City Casino, has become one of the must-see West End musicals since it moved here in 2009.

As you can imagine, the play is outrageously camp but in the second half poignant acts showing a homophobic pub brawl and Anthony wiping away his Mitzi characteristics when facing his son portrays the realisation those perceived as a sexual minority have to face.

The play makes a ‘fab’ night whatever of your sexual origination and the dancing queens start the opening bars from disco classics such as ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Finally’ the urge to stand and boogie is overpowering.