Monday 27th November 2017
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will open at the Regent Theatre on 3 May 2018 with a stellar cast headed by Auckland based Cameron Douglas who will reprise the role of transsexual Bernadette that he played in the Showbiz Christchurch season earlier this year.
Douglas has enjoyed a busy career since graduating NASDA in 2002, including performing in over 20 musicals including My Fair Lady; Cabaret; The History Boys; The Producers; Guys and Dolls; The Rocky Horror Show; The Sound of Music; Great Expectations; My Fair Lady; Grease; The Mikado; When the Rain Stops Falling; Blood Brothers; One Man, Two Guvnors; Romeo and Juliet; Mary Poppins; That Bloody Woman; and, most recently, Legally Blonde The Musical. He is the lead singer and guitarist in NZ’s premiere skiffle rock and roll band, The Goldonies.
Supporting him in the role of Tick/Mitzi will be Greg McLeod who earlier this year performed the role of Mr Banks in the hit musical ‘Mary Poppins’. Jacob Irby, a new comer to Dunedin having gained considerable experience performing in his home town of Danville, Virginia completes the trio playing the role of Adam/Felicia.
Providing many of the pumping disco hits that Priscilla has become synonymous for are the three flying Divas: Janine Weatherley, Kelly Hocking and Auckland based Anna Langford accompanied by a rocking live band lead by Dunedin’s musical theatre maestro, Stuart Walker.
Also joining the cast 3 weeks prior to opening night will be Auckland actor Melinda Joe who will play Cynthia, a woman with some unique talents!
The Musical Theatre Dunedin version of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will be directed and choreographed by the dynamic duo of Doug Kamo and Emma Holloway, responsible for the recent successes of Mamma Mia!, Grease: The Arena Spectacular and Mary Poppins.
Kamo says, “this will be a new interpretation of the show utilising over 700 costumes, wigs and headdresses and the script that recently toured the UK and was last staged in Auckland”.
Translating the iconic movie to a stage musical setting required significant changes by the authors of the film, Stephen Elliot and Allan Scott, and the musical’s writer and first director, Simon Phillips. The musical has evolved considerably since the first production left Australia eight years ago, there are now several stage versions, all different yet all preserving the audience focus on the show’s three unique characters and their personal and physical journey.
The show’s enormous success has seen versions staged from South Korea to Sao Paulo and in just about every language including French, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek and Swedish. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is without doubt Australia’s most successful theatrical export.
The title role of Priscilla is not played by an actor but is instead a bus which was built in Christchurch by Scenic Solutions – along with a myriad of other set pieces designed by Harold Moot, including a nightclub, a casino and two outback pubs. Priscilla is set to be a visual feast on stage, with another Christchurch business, Lightsite, designing the lighting effects which will transport the audience from an inner-city Sydney flat into the wide-open spaces of the Australian outback.
“This is an enormous undertaking and one we have been waiting many years to be given the green light for”, says president of Musical Theatre Dunedin, Ted Pheloung. “It is the best feel good musical since Mamma Mia so we are gearing up to set Dunedin on fire with the biggest party musical of 2018” he said.
By Arrangement with Nullarbor Productions
in association with MGM On Stage
Exclusively licensed by Origin Theatrical Pty Ltd
Queen of the Desert
Written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott
Based on the Latent Image/Specific Films Motion Picture
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Musical Arrangements and Orchestrations by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy
Developed for the Stage and Original Direction by Simon Phillips
The original motion picture was written and directed by Stephan Elliott, produced by Al Clark and Michael Hamlyn, executive producer Rebel Penfold-Russell and was financed with the assistance of the Film Finance Corporation Australia Limited and the New South Wales Film and Television Office