Priscilla is a warm-hearted bundle of glamour and colour at the Mayflower

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert  The Musical
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The Musical

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 13-18.

On the darkest, rainiest of nights, we needed something special – and we certainly got it with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical.

It was winter outside, but inside the theatre was filled with the bright sunshine of hope, compassion and tolerance.

A truly uplifting show, Priscilla comes with the warmest hearted of messages: be who you are and let others be who they want to be.

It’s all about looking benevolently at everyone around us – a message which couldn’t possibly be more timely now and yet which will always be timely: a lesson for life delivered with endless colour and outrageous glamour, all wrapped up in the delicious glow of humour and the most fabulous disco soundtrack ever compiled.

For us Priscilla virgins there for the first time, it’s great finally to see what all the fuss is about. This is a fun show, but also an important show – and it merges the two to perfection.

Joe McFadden, Nick Hayes and Miles Western are outstanding as the three unlikely travelling companions, two drag queens and a recently bereaved transgender woman, heading across the outback in a battered van – all for the show of a lifetime and the most touching of meetings.

McFadden and his estranged young son play it beautifully when they finally meet at the end of an epic journey. Along the way there’s plenty of bickering, but there is also compassion and growing friendship, particularly when prejudice confronts them.

Theirs is an unconventional lifestyle for sure, but with their sheer decency, the threesome powerfully, compellingly assert their right to live it.

The show manages to be both OTT and endearing; outrageous and yet tender. Brilliant performances all round make it a night to savour, firing us all up with the milk of human kindness.

Phil Hewitt

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