REVIEW: Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Derngate, Northampton

Priscilla is at the Derngate this week
Priscilla is at the Derngate this week

The party bus is in town this week and Priscilla is ready to give you the ride of your life.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the musical kicked off its six-day run at the Northampton theatre last night and the audience absolutely loved it.

The friends next to Priscilla

The friends next to Priscilla

Packed full of classic hits including I Will Survive, Go West, Hot Stuff, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and I Say A Little Prayer, it’s hard not to want to get up on stage with the cast.

Based on the 1994 movie, the show tells the tale of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of.

Duncan James from boy band Blue appears as you have never seen him before and he is brilliant as Tick (Mitzi).

While he sparkles as a drag queen, behind the sequins, high heels and make-up is a father who hasn’t seen his son in six years and when offered the chance to meet him, it’s an opportunity he just can’t refuse.

As he boards Priscilla, the transport for his road trip across Australia with friends Bernadette (Simon Green) and Adam/Felicia (Adam Bailey), it is his first step towards being a dad but also gives each of the trio some food for thought along the way.

The story is heart-warming and uplifting, touching on a huge range of emotions for its main characters, but this show really is taken to another level by its energy levels teamed up with the extravagant costumes and flambuoyant make-up.

We couldn’t take our eyes off the stage as the cast dazzled and danced under the glitterball, often sharing a smile with each other as yet another outlandish costume graced the stage or came down from above as one of the three singing divas.

The majority of the costumes flashed the flesh and there were a few ‘cheeky’ ones thrown in for good effect.

And all of this came together beautifully around Priscilla, the centrepiece of the show.

While she might be an old bus which has seen better days, she felt like a good friend by the end.

The Sunday Express described the musical as ‘the best feel-good show since Mamma Mia’ and we would struggle to disagree with that.

Priscilla the musical really is a show-stopper from start to finish and well worth seeing.

You can catch Priscilla at Derngate until Saturday, April 9.

Shows are at 7.30pm each night with matinees at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday.

For more information or tickets call 01604 624811 or go to www.royalandderngate.co.uk.