Priscilla The Party

The latest offering in the plethora of immersive theatre options is Priscilla The Party which is running on select dates at Outernet in the heart of London. Based on the popular award winning musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, this new incarnation of the show aims to build on the success of the Oscar winning film and Tony/Olivier award winning musical.

The musical tells the story of three drag queens, Mitzi Mitosis, Felicia Jollygoodfellow and transgender woman Bernadette who journey across Australia from Sydney to Alice Springs in their tour bus named ‘Priscilla.’ As expected of the groundbreaking musical, the show deals with tough themes such as homophobia and discrimination all set within this exuberant and uplifting show. It’s vitally important at a time when the transgender community is coming under more hate than ever that resilience is witnessed in a story within the community that evokes so much joy.

Upon entering Outernet, the versatile space has been transformed into London’s very own Cockatoo Club. With an abundance of Priscilla merch and party gear, you’d be sure to look the part at this party. The venue also serves its own array of bar food including brisket sliders, nachos and even rainbow cake (vegan options are also available) before and during the show.

At the bar, several alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails have been designed to further enhance the party atmosphere including Alice Springs Sangria and the Mitzi Del Bra Margarita. Having sampled a few (purely for reviewing purposes of course) each are lovely additions to the traditional bar offerings ensuring you are in the party mood. Premium dining experiences are also available.

Directed by Simon Phillips, Priscilla The Party would be nothing without its cast, and the array of talent on stage certainly doesn’t disappoint.  Australian drag queen and all round international superstar Trevor Ashley navigates us through the story with an array of fabulous outfit changes as Gaye Cliché. Ashley provides the powerful vocals we come to expect from them (having slayed the competition on Queen Of The Universe) whilst also injecting much of the comedy into the fun show.

Our leading ladies Bernadette (Dakota Starr), Mitzi (Owain Williams) and Felicia (Reece Kerridge) each bring their own uniqueness to these iconic roles. Kerridge particularly impresses with his interpretation of Adam/Felicia delivering on point choreography and killer vocals. The entire ensemble cast also deserves plaudits due to the sheer energy they each bring to the stage and their ability to perform the show stopping numbers.

HERE at Outernet is the perfect venue to host Priscilla The Party with its crystal clear video screens, impeccable sound system and incredibly attentive staff. Video design (Brian Thomson and Justin Nardella) was vibrant and cleverly used throughout providing the backdrop to each of our scenes whether it be in the Australian outback or inside The Cockatoo Club. Whilst the main stage space initially appears limited, especially considering its sizeable cast, as the stage moves around the space we are further immersed into the story and feel physically closer to the characters. A special mention goes to the Cockatoo Club Crew, a unique take on ‘crowd control’ ensuring we are where we are meant to be at all times.

Emotional moments during the show were not as impactful as a traditional theatre due to vast space and party atmosphere. As the audience moves with the performers depending on where you stand can impact that emotional connection with the characters. Whilst the show tries to perform for the whole audience you did sometimes find impactful scenes performed with their back towards you. The production would benefit from a greater audience interaction but understandable hurried exits have to occur due to sheer number of costume changes.

Costume design by Lizzy Gardner and Tim Chappel, who coincidently worked on the original costumes, are as outlandish and outrageous as you’d expect and want. Keeping with the identity of the show, these updated reinterpretations have you constantly questioning where to look as you are dazzled by the sequins and stilettos.

Filled to the brim of classic disco tunes (think Boogie Wonderland, Hot Stuff and Shake Your Groove Thing) whilst on the dance floor, Priscilla The Party will have you dancing the night away. Once the show finishes the party doesn’t stop, join their resident DJ to finish your evening.

Priscilla has been performed around the world and has established itself as a fan favourite musical. Priscilla The Party provides the nostalgia of previous productions whilst adding a modern interpretation for today’s audiences. It’s time to start your engines and jump onboard the party bus! Blimey, this is one party you do not want to miss!

This show was reviewed on the 24th March 2024 and runs at Here @ Outernet, London until the 29th September 2024.  Tickets available here: Priscilla The Party!

Review written by Jordan Potts

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Photo credit: Marc Brenner

You can watch our interview with Reece Kerridge who plays Felicia here: https://youtu.be/nUAG1kU28Ho?si=xkroEwgkGznY8Kn7

Check out other reviews from Curtain Call Reviews and get in touch to have our reviewers head to your show.

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