14 Oct 2014: Three drag queens walk into a bar on their way from Sydney to Alice Springs in Australia, and despite getting a dance party started in there, they came out to find that the locals have sprayed hateful words onto their lavender-coloured van (nicknamed Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). That’s not funny, of course, but it’s a scene from a musical that promises to be an entertaining and colourful singalong journey to acceptance.
Based on Stephan Elliott’s 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the story centres on drag queen Anthony ‘Tick’ Belrose as he and two friends hit the road to a night club in the resort town to perform a show as a favour to his ex-wife. What his mates don’t know is that he has an ulterior motive: He will finally get to meet his eight-year-old son after the show.
Priscilla will be making its debut in Singapore this month, and its largely Filipino cast will be joined by local actor/director/playwright Jonathan Lim ofChestnuts fame. Lim will star as one of the drag queen performers, Miss Understanding. The performance deals with some fabulously grownup themes – yes, that does include homosexuality – but director Jaime del Mundo is convinced that it’s a show that everyone can enjoy. ‘I love its joy, its buoyancy and its celebration of individuality,’ he says.
‘I love the fact that though the musical teems with high spirits, it does not sugar-coat the realities of prejudice and the challenges that life choices sometimes force one to face. But most of all, I love the fact that it is a show about family for families!’