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Photo: Alan Dean Photography

Theatre Review: Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe—until 06.09.19

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on June 3, 2019



By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier. Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).

Break out your sequins and false lashes because Priscilla Queen of the Desert has driven in at Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe! Based on the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the show stays true to the films comedic roots, outrageous costumes and over the top dance numbers.

Photo: Alan Dean Photography

Follow along as three glam drag queen performers drive across the Australian outback (in a bus they’ve dubbed Priscilla) to reach their next performance. Shaun Toohey (Bernadette), DJ Eyamie (Adam) and Andy Allen-McCarthy (Tick) bring life, glitter and fabulousness to these complex lead characters who are a lot of fun to watch. Of course you can expect some spectacular costumes, sassy lines, a little sexual innuendo and some punny jokes.

The story sees the three queens battling through life’s challenges, acceptance and the freedom to be who they really are. The show is what’s often referred to as a ‘jukebox musical’ as it incorporates already known pop music rather than original songs. But what that really means is that you get to hear some of your favourite classic songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, “I Will Survive”, “We Belong” and many many more that will have you tapping your feet and bopping in your seat.

The show is what’s often referred to as a ‘jukebox musical’ as it incorporates already known pop music rather than original songs.

There were a few opening night stumbles, a bit of tightening up needed on group dance numbers and some cleaner lighting transitions that would help to distract the audience less from the overall story, but such is seeing a show before everyone else! Orpheus Theatre typically brings top notch singers and casting, and ultimately those shine through even with opening night jitters.

Photo: Alan Dean Photography

In the end, the glitz, glamour and upbeat music are sure to give you a fun night out. Even if you don’t know all the pop hits, you’ll feel the energy of the songs and enjoy the ride.

Listen to our Spotify playlist to some of our favourite classic 70s and 80s numbers from the show.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert continues at Meridian Theatres until Sunday June 9th. Shows are Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Tickets are $27-$57. The show runs 2 hours and 30 minutes with intermission.