Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | Priscilla, Queen of the Desert UK Tour

60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB, UK

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Curve Theatre, Leicester

There really was a lot of glitter and noise coming from the Curve Theatre, Leicester when a battered old bus arrived along with 3 of the most eccentric drag queens from Australia. Priscilla: Queen of the Desert is a funny and poignant road-trip for the 3 drag queens, who all aboard 'Priscilla' on their own individual journeys of self-discovery. The foundations of this show come from the 1994 film that became a cult classic, a pioneering LGBTQ+ comedy and also found a successful home on the stage too over the years. This adapted musical tour has been given a fresh lick of paint as Jason Donovan takes the chair as producer for this, with plenty of sparkles and depth too.

Priscilla: The Queen of the Desert begins with Tick (2017 Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden) a drag artist who is offered an important show spot in Alice Springs. He manages to persuade his friends, Bernadette and Adam to accompany him in 'Priscilla', a battered old bus. We soon figure out that there's another reason for this journey and it warms right at the heart. He wants to meet his son who he has never met.

This journey isn't straight forward as the men encounter prejudice and unexpected kindness within the communities they pass through. Some moments are really uncomfortable to witness but their reference to these battles is met sensitively. What isn't forgotten is the fantastic warmth in uniting together as a family too.

Joe McFadden does a great job in drawing the audience into a likeable portrayal of Tick. He had a fantastic portrayal of a doting father and driven entertainer in him, although he wasn't the strongest drag queen on the stage. Miles Western oozes self-assurance in his trans character Bernadette and brings sublime dignity in delivering his lines full of wit. Nick Hayes is spectacular as the flamboyant Adam. He has a great sense of provocative, sass and gorgeous bum cheeks! I love how each of the characters balanced one another out in their strengths in nailing the vocals and fast-paced choreography.

What was so brilliant about this production was all of the humour packed in too, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is full to the side wings with it! I don't remember the last time I really laughed out loud at a show.

This musical is fantastic from start to finish and is supported by their fabulous ensemble cast. They bring serious levels of energy to the song and dance numbers. They are expeditious performers and clearly bring a lot of passion through every breath of their performance. Aiesha Pease, Claudia Kariuki and Rosie Glossop deserve a special mention as a trio of 'Divas'. They have a powerful impact on the musical numbers with their slick sass and attitude, along with powerhouse vocals to really raise the roof. They reminded me a lot of the trio of women in Little Shop of Horrors and they brought huge oomph to the entire production.

Read more: Q&A with Jason Donovan, Director of Priscilla Queen of the Desert 2019 UK Tour.

The musical score is unforgettable and non-stop in this show. For the audience it's a fantastic collection of disco classics that really gets you going. 'It's Raining Men' and 'I Will Survive' are some of my favourites but 'Color My World' sticks with me long after the curtain goes on on the finale. The atmosphere in this musical is europhic and will lift you right up! The audience were quick to get onto their feet for this talented touring cast.

If you're a fan of Kinky Boots then Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is definitely one to add onto your to-see show list! It's a fantastic example of celebrating LGBTQ+ and giving it another opportunity to be raised and colour your world. It's also a fun-packed evening for you to enjoy with your girl pals!


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