The latest sensation to sweep London’s West End is a musical hosted in the theatre that previously gave a home to Monty Python’s Spamalot. This new production is based on the cult movie about drag queens careening around the Australian outback. Without even looking at the quirks of musical theatre, it would seem that weird elements abound – what could be left? Plenty. Here are six more weird facts about the musical phenomenon known as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
- You might not expect it, but Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shares a production team with one of the most famous modern ballets there is – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake! Bourne has also choreographed such screen-to-stage hits as 2007’s Edward Scissorhands, and the production company behind both Priscilla and Swan Lake is Back Row Productions.
- The original film won prizes for best costumes on a budget of just £7,500. For the stage production, “Priscilla”‘s costume designers were given over ONE HUNDRED TIMES that!
- The stage production features a medley of songs by Kylie Minogue – is it any wonder the Minogue sisters have already become “celebrity fans” of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”? Maybe not, but Kylie and Dannii Minogue went so far as to appear in videos praising the home-grown Aussie classic. Video can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we50dABSsNs.
- Most of the major designers from the film were brought back to work on Priscilla’s stage incarnation, but many – particularly the makeup designers – found it touch to reproduce the results that had won them so many accolades on stage. How could that be? Well, performers on stage are larger than life and must make their changes in real time. The makeup designer went so far as to use masks for performers’ faces to make changes between scenes possible, rather than using real makeup and having the over-the-top nature of Priscilla suffer because of it!
- Since Priscilla’s main characters are three drag queens on a tour of the outback, the producers incorporated three new characters — The Divas — to stand in for the song tracks the stars would sing. This means that every time Tick (Jason Donovan), Bernadette (Tony Sheldon) or Adam (Oliver Thornton) starts singing their hearts out on stage, one (or more) of The Divas sings along!
- Priscilla, Queen ofthe Desert has incorporated the latest in social networking technology with their twitter account @priscillabus. They regularly update the feed and respond to questions and answers from their fans. If you have questions about any of these weird facts, you can always get in touch directly with the production to ask more about the information!
Doesn’t get much weirder than those fun facts, does it!