PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT Opens For First Time In Queensland
After playing 135 cities in 29 different countries around the world, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical will sashay into the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 26 September 2018 for the show's Queensland premiere season.
Featuring a dazzling array of more than 500 costumes, 200 headdresses and a non-stop hit parade of dance-floor classics including IT'S RAINING MEN, I WILL SURVIVE, I LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE and FINALLY, this homegrown blockbuster delivers all the glitz and glamour.
Australian theatre royalty Tony Sheldon returns to reprise the role of Bernadette. Tony has frocked up more than 1800 times across the globe to play the sassy desert queen; a role that has earnt him both Tony and Olivier nominations.
Also reprising his role, for Queensland audiences only, is everyone's favourite flamin' galah, Ray Meagher, as outback mechanic Bob. The treasured Australian actor, who recently notched up 30 years as Home and Away's Alf Stewart, will swap Summer Bay for the Queensland stage, joining the cast of Priscilla for the musical's 10th anniversary celebration tour. Born on a cattle and sheep property in Outback Queensland, Ray has not only forged a career in TV, film and stage but is also an experienced stockman, horseman and former first-class rugby player.
He made his theatre debut at Brisbane's La Boite Theatre in 1972 and has performed in countless productions both here and abroad, including 16 pantomimes in the UK. His film credits include iconic Aussie movies Breaker Morant, Newsfront and My Brilliant Career. He auditioned for the pilot of Home and Away thinking it might be a few months' work - three decades later he is the longest serving actor in an Australian drama series.
Having played Broken Hill based mechanic "Bob" in the original 2007 Sydney production of Priscilla, the West End and New Zealand Ray Meagher said, "The pink bus took me from Sydney to London to Auckland and this year to Brisbane. I never in my wildest dreams thought a bloke from the Queensland bush who can't sing or dance would be allowed anywhere near a musical! THANK YOU PRISCILLA".
Based on the Oscar-winning Australian film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is the hilarious story of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus in Sydney bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. The 1994 film starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce remains one of Australia's most successful films and soundtracks of all-time with a swag of awards in the trophy cabinet, including an Oscar for Best Costume Design.
The quintessentially Aussie story about mateship, self-discovery and acceptance was translated from screen to stage by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, directed by Simon Phillips, with the film's acclaimed costume designers Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner onboard, alongside stage designer Brian Thomson and co-choreographers Andrew Hallsworth and legendary Ross Coleman.
The fabulous all-Australian cast includes Kinky Boots alumni Emma Powell as burly bartender "Shirl" and Blake Appelqvist as "Miss Understanding"; Adele Parkinson as hotel entertainment manager "Marion"; Angelique Cassimatis, Samm Hagen and Cle Morgan as sassy disco singers "The Divas"; and reprising her role from the original Australian production, Lena Cruz as Bob's wife "Cynthia". Jakob Ambrose, Michelle Barr, Xander Ellis, Mitchell Fistrovic, Tom Handley, Haydan Hawkins, Luke Jarvis, Joe Kosky, Leonard Mickelo, Adam Noviello, Shannen Quan, Tom Sharah and Patrick Whitbread also feature.
The iconic hit production is back after a rollicking ten-year around-the-world extravaganza including award-winning stints on Broadway and in the West End, plus tours of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Wales and on the high seas with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Future international productions will include seasons in Bangkok, Copenhagen, Mexico City, and return tours to France, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom for the third time.