Review: PRISCILLA THE PARTY, HERE @Outernet

The production is currently booking through September 2024

By: Mar. 26, 2024
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Review: PRISCILLA THE PARTY, HERE @Outernet
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Priscilla The Party!

Priscilla the Party, written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, is based on The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a movie from the 90s that was adapted into a musical and has since travelled the world making a name for itself.

Guests are invited into the Cockatoo Club, standing in front of the stage and its catwalk that is able to be taken apart and moved around the floor. The host of the show, Gay Cliché, played by Trevor Asley, acts as the connection between our world and the world of Priscilla, making modern-day references and adding quips related to the moments of the story we have just seen. Ashley also establishes the rules for the show, explaining how the set moves around (with a reference to fellow immersive show Guys & Dolls) and how to behave properly around the actors when they enter the crowd. 

HERE @Outernet is a fascinating new venue for theatre, bridging the gap between a club and a stage in a unique way. If you want a sit-down experience, you can go to the mezzanine, where you are provided with food and drink and a view of, not only the stage, but the standing audience below. There are also seats on the floor, but most choose to stand and become immersed in the show. Both food and drink are available to purchase, including some delicious sliders and cake pops and some delightfully-themed cocktails! All of the staff members are incredibly friendly, going out of their way to ensure each audience member has a fantastic experience. 

Priscilla The Party!
Owain Williams

For those unfamiliar with the show, we follow a drag star, Tick/Mitzi (Owain Williams), who is invited by his wife to perform in Alice Springs, which requires him to make a journey across the Australian desert. He decides to bring along two fellow drag queens - Bernadette (Dakota Starr), who has recently lost their husband, and Adam (Reece Kerridge), a young drag queen ready to make his mark on the world. The three drag queens get on a bus, christened “Priscilla,” and the adventure begins! The trio have fantastic chemistry with one another, bickering yet still loving one another like siblings, ready to defend each other to the ends of the earth. 

As Priscilla the Party has more of a club vibe, there are very few set pieces onstage, with the production instead using a giant video screen to set scenes and to create the bus itself. The seat and video, designed by Brian Thomson and Justin Nardella, are a bit cheesy, but this tends to work in the show’s favour as it makes everything seem more fantastical and fun. There were times when I wished that we had seen more of Priscilla, seeing as the bus is such a central part of the show - maybe a brief appearance of some kind of physical form of the bus at the end?

Priscilla The Party!

With musical arrangements by Stephen “Spud” Murphy and Steve Grace, we re taken on a whirlwind trip through classic LGBTQ+ anthems including “Go West,” “Better the Devil You Know,” “I Love the Nightlife” and, of course, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” though this time adapted into a slower and more emotional power ballad. Combined with choreography by Andrew Hallsworth and Dean Coach, the entire cast, particularly the ensemble, pour their heart and soul into their performances and you can’t help but smile and dance along - even the disco balls are dancing with you! The Divas, played by Grace Galloway, GRACIE Lai and Sara Louise, give standout singing performances, typically wearing bird-themed dresses and belting their faces off in a glorious diva fashion. 

The costumes, designed by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, might as well be classified as characters themselves with their strong personalities! At times it felt like I was at a fashion show as the ensemble strutted past in gorgeous costumes - I will never not be in awe of how people are able to walk (and dance!) so well in heels! Even the more casual clothes worn by the cast when in the more rural parts of Australia are still fantastic, adding to the atmosphere created by the script and music. Some of my favourite costumes only made brief appearances for the finale, including an adorable koala costume and some clever bird costumes for the ensemble. 

One of the best aspects of the show is seeing how much joy it brings audience members of all ages. People were mingling on the floor, sipping cocktails and dancing around in sparkling outfits - I can only imagine that those seated in the mezzanine probably wished they could join the party! The cast, especially the ensemble, thrives on the energy given to them by the crowd, pointing out people and dancing along with them throughout the show. Credit must be given to the team on the floor who takes care of the audience as the set moves around them, gently guiding them to new spaces to stand. Even after the show has ended, audience members are welcome to stay and dance, as a DJ rolls out their equipment to take over the stage. While I had decided I’d had my fill and left, I saw many others having a fantastic time, laughing and dancing with their friends. 

Priscilla the Party is a fantastic combination of cabaret and theatre, making for a fun night full of great music, gorgeous costumes and, of course, plenty of dancing! Whether you’ve seen Priscilla before or not, you’re sure to have a delightful night out. 

Priscilla the Party runs at HERE @ Outernet.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner




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