Premium Priscilla

Posted on March 26th, 2009

Really, who could blame Queen Priscilla for eschewing the desert and installing herself at the Palace (theatre, that is)…. but just be careful where you sit. “Premium” seating (essentially the best seats in the house but with a substantial mark-up to keep them more “exclusive”) is a nasty money-making trick that originated on Broadway and has now arrived here. Problem is that you shouldn’t have to break the bank to be afforded a clear view of the entire stage and I can tell you that even rear stalls and dress circle will exclude you from a goodly chunk of the spectacle – and this being perhaps the best and most elaborate drag show you’ll ever see, you wouldn’t want to miss the “flying” Three Divas or those bus-top walk-downs, would you? Bottom line: there are a lot of “restricted view” seats for this sumptuous stage version of Stephan Elliott’s Australian movie classic.

Still, I was all right Jack and from the fourth row of the stalls caught every sequin and shower of confetti and was well within ping-pong ball range. “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” has the best compilation soundtrack in the history of the world (excluding “Mamma Mia”, it should be noted, for obvious reasons) and Stephen “Spud” Murphy and Charlie Hull’s trumpet-topped arrangements really rock. Ok, so there’s more bathos than pathos in the stage version, but from “premium” seating it’s quite an eyeful, and you’ll want to be close enough to catch every nuance of Tony Sheldon’s gloriously proud and imperious Bernadette. Oh, and Jason (Donovan) isn’t bad, either. Love the moment when his “Mitzi” ‘fesses up to fancying Scott in “Neighbours”… many a true word…..

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