Priscilla, Queen of the Desert comes to Hornchurch, promising an emotional journey of friendship and self-discovery
PUBLISHED: 10:07 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:19 18 April 2018
Three drag queens embark on an adventure into the Australian outback searching for dreams and friendship, in a new musical coming to Hornchurch.
Based on the classic hit film by Terrence Stamp and Guy Pearce, the musical of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, is coming to the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane.
A trio of unlikely performers, Bernadette, Adam and Tick, set out on an adventure across the Australian desert in a battered bus named Priscilla, hoping to fulfil their dreams of fame and stardom.
Daniel Bailey, who plays the role of Adam, said taking part in the show has pushed him out of his comfort zone.
He told the Recorder: “I saw the film six or seven years ago and I was addicted to it.
“When the opportunity came up to do it, I knew that this would be something great.”
The musical is known for it’s unique costumes, and the Queen’s Theatre production promises not to disappoint.
“There are some really risqué outfits and really fun DIY drag outfits,” Daniel said.
“For example, there’s a dress made out of household appliances.
“It’s good fun to see the juxtaposition of the outlandishness of the drag and the mundane nature of the Australian outback.”
Written by Stephan Elliot and Allan Scott, the musical features many well-known anthems from the 70s and 90s including I Will Survive and I Say A Little Prayer.
However, the Queen’s Theatre production also provides a more intimate performance for the audience.
“It’s quite stripped back, so the audience can really delve into the story,” said Daniel.
“Other productions mainly focus on the set, but this one is more intimate, allowing the audience to focus on some of the themes like gay shame.”
The musical’s themes of self-expression and pursuing one’s dreams no matter what the cost is, has struck a nerve with the actor.
“It’s taken me out of my comfort zone, which is good for me.
“It’s exciting to be working with the cast who are all very talented.”
Daniel explained that while his character represents the more modern style of drag, Bernadette and Tick are more representative of the early, 1950s style of drag.
Regardless of their differences, it’s their friendship that drives the play.
Daniel added: “It’s the friction of us coming from different styles of drag and how we manage to fit all of our personalities on that one tiny bus.
“It’s the process of breaking down this facade, because they don’t have this sense of big celebrity status in Sydney yet.
“We all have to break down our egos, so that we can work together and learn from each other.”
Daniel compares the show to the award-winning reality programme, Rupaul’s Drag Race which sees drag queens competing for the title of America’s next drag superstar.
“[The musical] has that happiness of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
“The drag queens are going through a lot in their personal lives, but the drag is saving them, and I think that’s what is reflected in the show.
“It always makes you think, what are we dealing with in our lives, what are we hiding from?”
“As a society we’re built to always be looking down on society to make ourselves feel better.
“But this show exposes that. You don’t think it will because of the glitz and how fun it is, but these characters are dealing with really heavy issues.
Daniel has previously performed in Motown the Musical and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
“In comparison, it just feels good to put my own stamp on something,” he said.
“Everyone knows Motown, everyone knows Lion King, but they don’t know Adam who is a black Australian, obsessed with Kylie Minogue.
“He existed in the parametres of the film, but not like this.”
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert runs at the theatre from April 27 - May 26.
To book tickets call the theatre’s box office on 01708 443333.