Photo Flash: PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL
Jason Donovan, Tony Sheldon, Oliver Thornton and Clive Carter lead the cast of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical, written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott and directed by Simon Phillips, with Press Night on 23 March and Gala Night on 24 March 2009. Bookings are currently open for performances until 26 September 2009.The principal cast are joined by Zoe Birkett, Kate Gillespie and Emma Lindars as the three Divas, Wezley Sebastian as Miss Understanding, Amy Field as Marion, Danielle Coombe as Shirley, Tristan Temple as Jimmy, Kanako Nakano as Cynthia, Steven Cleverley as Young Bernadette and John Brannoch as Frank. Completing the company are Phillip Arran, Matthew Cole, Amy Edwards, Mark Inscoe, Zabrina Norry, Will Peaco, John Phoenix, James Rees, Craig Ryder, Jeremy Secomb and Jon Tsouras.Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical is a heart-warming, uplifting adventure of three friends - Tick (Jason Donovan), Bernadette (Tony Sheldon) and Adam (Oliver Thornton), a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio that agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback - who hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed. With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and featuring a score of dance-floor classics, this new musical is a sensational journey to the heart of fabulous. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical - adapted from the Oscar®-winning film The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce - is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott. Direction is by Simon Phillips, Choreography is by Ross Coleman, Musical Arrangements, Direction and Supervision by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy and Production Design are by Brian Thomson. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Oscar®-winning Costume Designs, which were originally designed for the film. BAFTA Award winning Make Up design is recreated by Cassie Hanlon. Lighting is designed by Nick Schlieper and Sound design by Michael Waters.Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical made its world premiere in Sydney in October 2006 and has subsequently wowed audiences and critics alike in Melbourne and New Zealand to become the most successful Australian musical of all time. Plans are afoot for a North American production to open in Toronto Autumn 2009 and another in Germany in 2010. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical is produced in London by Liz Koops and Garry McQuinn for Back Row Productions, Michael Hamlyn for Specific Films, Allan Scott, John Frost, Michael Chugg, David Mirvish and The Really Useful GroupMulti award-winning actor and recording-star Jason Donovan will play Tick. Donovan’s more recent theatre credits include the part of Christian in David Eldridge’s adaptation of Thomas Vinterberg’s film Festen for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Caratacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and the title role in John Doyle’s production of Sweeney Todd which toured nationally. After playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours for over four years,Donovan has enjoyed a hugely successful pop career releasing three major albums and numerous top 10 hits around the world. His first new album for over fifteen years, Let It Be Me, was released in November last year.Acclaimed actor, writer and director Tony Sheldon will play Bernadette, the award-winning role he created on stage at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre and has subsequently played in Melbourne and Auckland. Sheldon’s extensive work for the Sydney Theatre Company includes Private Lives, Into The Woods and The Venetian Twins. His work for Australia’s Marian Street Theatre includes Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Odd Couple and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Sheldon’s award-winning roles include Roger De Bris in Mel Brook’s The Producers, Arnold Beckoff in Torch Song Trilogy and his acclaimed portrayal of John Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Oliver Thornton will play Adam. Thornton‘s West End credits include the roles of Mark in William Baker's revival of Rent at the Duke of York’s Theatre, Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre, Enjolras in Les Misérables at the Palace and Queens Theatres and Harrison in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre. He also played Rusty in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express on tour in the UK and in Bochum, Germany. On film his credits include Godforsaken and De-Lovely.Clive Carter, who will play Priscilla’s trusty mechanic Bob, can currently be seen in Crooked Wood at the Jermyn Street Theatre. His other theatre credits include Take Flight for the Menier Chocolate Factory, a world-tour of My Fair Lady in which he played Professor Henry Higgins and A Man for All Seasons for the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Carter’s many cast recordings include Les Misérables, Into the Woods, Always, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Essentials and Jesus Christ Superstar. Zoë Birkett was the winning female contestant in ITV’s Pop Idol 2002. Since then she has sung at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium, for the Prince’s Trust, at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with musicians from the Brand New Heavies and in Las Vegas where she hosted a brand new show at the Golden Nugget. On stage she played the female lead in Michael Jackson’s Thriller Live in Scandinavia, Holland, Germany and on tour in the UK. Her many television appearances include Top of the Pops, Pop World, CD:UK and Pepsi Chart Show as well as with a 20-piece orchestra for the BBC celebrating 60 years since VE Day at Trafalgar Square. Zoë Birkett’s single Treat Me Like a Lady charted at number 12 and she had five hits on the Pop Idol Big Band album which reached number 1 in the album chart and went triple platinum. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical - adapted from the Oscar®-winning film The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert starring Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving - is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott. Direction is by Simon Phillips, choreography is by Ross Coleman, arrangements, musical direction and supervision by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy and production designs are by Brian Thomson. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created their Oscar®-winning costume designs which were originally designed for the film. Lighting designed by Nick Schlieper and Sound design by Michael Waters.Director Simon Phillips has worked extensively throughout Australia and has won many awards for his productions including Proof, Company, Inheritance and Bombshells all for the Melbourne Theatre Company. His production Bombshells visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004 winning a Fringe First. He has directed productions of numerous musicals including Cabaret, Oliver!, High Society, Urinetown The Musical and The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, one of the most successful Australian movies of all time, was Stephan Elliott’s second feature film. Subsequently he has directed Welcome to Woop Woop starring Rod Taylor, Barry Humphries and Rachel Griffiths, and Eye of the Beholder, for which he also wrote the screenplay, which starred Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, KD Lang and Jason Priestley. He recently directed his own adaptation of Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue, with a cast including Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth, to be released in the UK in November. Bookings are currently open for performances until 26 September 2009.For more information visit: priscillathemusical.com.Photos by Tristram Kenton.
Jason Donovan and Cameron Sayers