Feel-good show Ticks all the boxes

Posted: 3pm 22 Dec 2021
Photos: Ben McShea, Beak Photographics

Brace yourself for big heels, outlandish costumes and no end of glitter when Priscilla Queen of the Dessert hits the stage at Redcliffe Entertainment Centre next year.

The musical, based on the 1994 popular movie follows the journey of two drag queens – Tick and Adam – and a transgender woman, Bernadette, as they travel across Australia in their bus named Priscilla.

Redcliffe Musical Theatre (RMT) will bring the story to life from March 11-20 with Conor Ensor playing Tick, Alex Watson playing Adam/Felicia and Shannon Foley as Bernadette. Early bird tickets are on sale now.

Redcliffe Musical Theatre President and Director Madeleine Johns says the quality of actors auditioning for the roles was exceptionally high and she cannot wait to see how they make the characters their own.

“The quality is as good as you will see on the stage at QPAC or anywhere else. It’s incredible,” she says.

The challenges faced by the performing arts sector, as a result of COVID-19, and a desire to attract the best talent has prompted RMT to pay its cast for this show as well as the band and orchestra.

“RMT are absolutely thrilled to be bringing Priscilla to Redcliffe – after 18 months of COVID restrictions and lockdowns, what audiences crave right now are feel-good, colourful and upbeat productions – Priscilla ticks all the boxes,” Johns says.

“With more glitz and glamour than you’ve seen on stage before, this hilarious musical will feature show-stopping dance routines, a dazzling array of eye-popping costumes and a scintillating soundtrack full of your favourite dance-floor classics including Hot Stuff, It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Finally and many more.”

It was written by Stephen Elliot and Allan Scott, with musical arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy, and developed for the stage and original direction by Simon Phillips.

Shake Your Groove Thing

Johns wants audiences to enjoy the feel-good atmosphere from the moment they arrive at the theatre.

“They can expect to have a lot of fun. It’s a party,” she says.

“We always provide a wow factor in our major productions – we’ve had flying on stage, a car on stage and for this one we’ll have a bus.”

RMT has sourced spectacular costumes and sets, including the bus, from CLOC Musical Theatre in Melbourne which is renowned for providing the best quality.

“They have a massive team of behind them and a big workshop where they build and design sets and costumes. Their costumes are incredible,” Johns says.

“We had to have amazing costumes and we needed to have the bus.”

The cast of 22 will be supported by about 80 people behind the scenes, a team of 10-12 people in costuming alone.

The original movie won an Oscar for best costume design, so there are high expectations.

Johns says a box of 60 costumes arrived last week and she was in the process of planning costume changes for the show.

“It’s a truly iconic Australian musical with great social messages about inclusivity. It’s a snapshot in time, and certainly not representative of how we are now,” she says.

“The musical has been instrumental in bringing that to the forefront.”


What: Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s professional production, Priscilla Queen of the Dessert

When: March 11-20

Tickets: Early bird special - $10 off per ticket until January 7. Prices $50-$65.




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