• Lance August

Priscilla makes a pitstop in Cape Town

Showtime Management in association with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Nullabor Productions presents Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. This team of international and local producers decided that it was time to bring the show to South Africa, and they were right - the musical stole our hearts through colourful and musical delight.

Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning film, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, written and Directed by Stephan Elliot. The Musical was The musical is directed by Dean Bryant (internationally) and Anton Luitingh (locally).

The musical first opened in Australia in 2006 and afterwards went on tour through London's West End and New York's Broadway for five months. The production continues to wow audiences across the globe with frequent tours to the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It has won many accolades, including prestigious Olivier and Tony awards for best costume and set design.

Set in the 1990's, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert tells a heart-warming and uplifting tale of two drag queens and one transsexual artist, who hop aboard a bruised old bus, dubbed Priscilla, and embark on an adventure of a lifetime through the Australian country-land, to perform at a casino in Alice Springs. The production touches on themes of homophobia, non-traditional families, and friendships, which is shown on their journey, as the trio embrace friendship, face prejudice, and find love.

The South African rendition of the show features talented and highly coveted performers such as David Dennis, Daniel Buys and Phillip Schnetler amongst others, who was supported by an ensemble cast whose tenacity and vibrancy flawlessly provided the musical foundation for the lead actors.

The musical features various timeless dance floor favorites such as: ‘I Will Survive', ‘Hot Stuff', ‘Finally', ‘Boogie Wonderland', ‘Go West', ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', and ‘I Love The Nightlife'., all of which were performed brilliantly by the cast.

Priscilla has since received rave reviews, and was ranked as "one of the most fun and fabulous musicals seen in a long time".

A few notable mentions:

  • The orchestra, directed by Bryan Schimmel never misses a beat, they provide soothing interludes to the various scenes which definitely aided in setting a creative tone for the musical.

  • Their incredible set design, which features harnesses with the elevated cast, accompanied by and an amazing LED colour-changing bus.

  • Highly-acclaimed costume designs & changes: The production features more than 500 costumes, and 200 headpieces, and was praised by audiences, props to the cast for changing in record-time.

  • Candice van Litsenborgh stood out in her featured role of Shirley, and in every other scene that she featured in.

  • Chantal Herman’s portrayal as Cynthia an Asian housewife, and her hilarious performance of ‘Pop Muzik'.

  • Six-time Fleur du Cap award winner, David Dennis, achieved prominence for his exquisite portrayal of Bernadette.

Have a look at what some of the audience members had to say.

Priscilla: Queen of the Desert showcases at the Artscape Opera Theatre until Sunday, 23 April 2017. Tickets are for sale at the Artscape Box Office and at Computicket outlets.

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