Not feeling blue for music star

Duncan James in Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical

Duncan James in Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical

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Duncan James from Blue will swap the music of Blue for a musical role in the dessert coming to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate next month.

He plays Tick in Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical running from Monday April 4 to Saturday April 9.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical is based on the movie set in Australia and 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 could have ever dreamed of.

The role requires Duncan to dress in drag and although he’s had to master dancing in heels, he says transforming his face doesn’t - surprisingly - involve hours in make-up.

“I wear a prosthetic mask,” he reveals. “So I just have to put a base and bit of eye make-up on beforehand, which is great. It is fitted to mould into my face and is all very clever. I have to go from a boy to being a girl in minutes and it’s all great fun.

“Wearing a mask is weird because it’s such a different thing to get used to. It is challenging though because I have to be in full dress with heels and a bodice; it’s very good fun though and I get to have a real laugh every night which, when you have a long contract, is nice. It’s not Hamlet where it’s serious.”

And he is full of praise for his fellow cast members.

“I started in the show last August, so will have done almost a year when the tour comes to an end. It’s been such a blast. It’s such a great show and the cast are wonderful. When you’re on the road like we are, it’s a bit like when you’re touring in a band, you become like a big family because you are spending every single day with them.

“So it’s great when you all get on like we do and I have been having so much fun. I love the part; it’s so rewarding and one of the best things I’ve honestly ever done.”

He’ll be marking a big celebration while the show is in Northampton.

Duncan said: “My birthday is on April 7, so I’ll be in the show in Northampton then,” he says. “My mum and a couple of friends are coming along to see me in the show that night and we will be celebrating together . . . though it’s not a big one.”

And Blue fans can sleep easy as there are plans for the foursome to appear again.

“We are all great friends in Blue and there is stuff in the pipeline with them for later on this year, after our summer tour of Asia and Australia,” he says. “It’s challenging fitting all our diaries together as we have many different things we are all doing these days, but there are some summer festivals booked, too.”

To book tickets for Priscilla call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.