Tori Erskine heads to Theatr Clwyd in Mold to check out the latest offering from Tip Top Productions. Photos: Mark Carline and Tori Erskine.
A few weeks ago, after years of endless recommendations, I finally had the time to watch the movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Filled with music, glitz, glamour and drag queens, I, of course, loved it. Lucky for me, I was invited along with We Are Chester to watch Tip Top Productions bring the story to life on stage over at Theatr Clwyd.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert tells the tale of three drag queens who travel across the Australian outback in a bus, and are faced with drama along the way. The musical is filled with classic well-loved hits from It’s Raining Men to a Kylie Minogue medley. The music fits in perfectly with the tale and gets the audience hyped for the show. Not forgetting the angelic voices of the cast, in particular the Divas (Natalie Brett, Rebecca Roberts, Laura Roberts) who open the show flying onto the stage!
The cast all fuse together perfectly, each character bringing their own strength to the stage. From the flamboyancy of Adam/Felicia (Jack Fletcher), to the comedy of Bernadette (Mike Jenkinson-Deakin), who can only be described as presenting the best and sassiest one-liners in the show.
Josh Hankey needs to be commended for his perfect adaptation of Tick, and in particular the relationship with his son, Benji (Ethan Roberts). It certainly tugs at the heartstrings when Benji says he is proud of his father’s career in showbiz whilst they sing You Were Always On My Mind.
The show’s loud and eclectic soundtrack is accompanied perfectly by bright, lavish costumes, from giant paintbrushes to cupcakes! The team really need to be commended for the show, simply for its attention to detail, making everything look authentic to the story whilst presenting it in its own unique way.
I don’t actually think a better cast could have been picked for the show. The three main queens had perfect comedic timing and their chemistry on stage made you instantly fall in love with them, and make you feel part of the story. It was almost as if you’re on the bus sipping a Long Island Iced Tea with them!
The Tip Top team should be so proud, not only do they triumph and celebrate LGBTQ+ equality, but also address the challenging and trialing issues that individuals have faced over time; and the strength and character that many groups have used to overcome these, most notably during Felicia’s attack. During this grueling scene, the darkness is juxtaposed with the bright colourful staging used throughout and emphasises this harrowing moment in the story.
In today’s world, where we are often faced with doom and gloom on the news and in the media, it’s so refreshing and uplifting to watch a show that transports you into another world of colour, glamour and ultimately makes you happy.
At the end of the show the cast had a very well deserved standing ovation, and there wasn’t one scowl or sad face in the theatre. This is what entertainment is all about, bringing people together and putting a smile on their faces, and Tip Top’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert encapsulates this perfectly.
We give Priscilla Queen of the Desert an impressive ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Priscilla Queen of the Desert runs until Saturday night at Theatr Clwyd. Tickets are selling fast.