Drag-queen extravaganza arrives to uplift us before they re-possess our homes
"IT'S LIKE the film times 10," says Oliver Thornton of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - The Musical, which opens at the Palace theatre next week.
"I can’t even begin to describe the budget* that the costume department must have."
Much is expected of the musical following its record breaking run in Australia and that sort of hype can be troublesome, but theatre-goers can rest-assured that the clothes are right up to scratch; an important factor, given we're talking about a drag-musical.
Thornton, who plays catty drag-queen Adam, is joined in Priscilla by Jason Donovan, taking the role of Tick, another drag-queen and Tony Sheldon, a survivor from the Sydney cast, who is transsexual Bernadette.
The trio of characters are on their way through Australia to perform at a casino and get into scrapes along the way, all the while bitching and snitching and belting out dance-along classics like Hot Stuff, I Love the Nightlife and Go West.
There have been a couple of problems in the preview shows this week: some punters complained they couldn't see vital scenes from their seats at the back and the show's fourth star, the bus Priscilla herself, broke down.
Hastily installed video screens and a bit of vehicle TLC appear to have sorted things.
Anyway, last minute snags somehow fit the spirit of the story. It's how you bounce back that counts and all that stuff, a sentiment that it's hoped will make Priscilla a good fit for the times.
"You come out feeling all jazzy and uplifted," says costume designer Tim Chappel. "Then you go home and they repossess your house."
* The costume budget came in at over £1M.