Queen of musicals gets neighbourly
Get ready for the ride of your life as the award-winning musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert returns to Bucks due to popular demand. Camilla Goodman chats to Jason Donovan about his role, why the show is so popular and wearing heels
ACCORDING to my Mum, I have been a fan of Jason Donovan since I was a baby when I used to sing along to Jason Donovan’s Neighbours theme tune in my highchair. So I was incredibly excited when I was given the opportunity to interview him about his role of Tick in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which is coming to the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on Monday, October 26 to Saturday, October 31.
For those who are like me and are not familiar with Priscilla, it is based on the smash-hit movie and is the heartwarming, uplifting adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of.
With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dance floor classics including I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife and more.
Australian hunk Jason Donovan is no stranger to the role of Tick. He has played it previously in the West End and on its last UK tour.
“It’s like I never went away,” he explained. “It’s a great part and it’s a great feel good show. There’s a good marriage between me and this show, I really enjoy the audience’s response, it’s a great actor’s piece, it’s a modern musical, it’s quirky and it’s Australian, so it ticks a lot of boxes for me.”
Jason has a whopping 12 costume changes in the show and he also dons some pretty impressive high heels that even I, a high heel addict, would struggle to walk in.
“High heels and me go back a long time,” Jason said. “I’ve never had any problems with heels, I deal with them quite well. It’s the costume changes which is the exhausting thing, it’s quite hard work trying to keep up. I’m not 22 any more, not that I ever have been in this show, I started this show when I was about 40, but it’s tiring, it’s the most taxing thing to do I think.”
I asked Jason why he thinks the musical is such a hit with the audiences.
He said: “It’s quirky, it’s got wonderful songs, it’s colourful, it’ serious, it’s something that’s a bit wacky, and edgy and it’s got a wonderful heart. It’s musical viagra.
“It’s a cool piece of theatre, it’s modern and it’s young and it puts a smile on a lot of people’s faces.”
Jason is no stranger to the stage and has appeared in a host of hit musicals, but this one has a special place in his heart.
He added: “It’s hard to choose a favourite role. This one stays with me, I love this musical, and I feel like Tick is my role. However, I love all sorts of shows, Sweeney Todd was an incredible role to play as well.”
Talking about his character, Jason said: “Tick is confused. He’s gay with a wife and children. He decides to go on a trip and put on a drag show to fully discover who is his and to see if he’s accepted. He meets two friends along the way, a transgender woman and a gay eccentric. It’s a real mixmatch of characters. It’s about their journey and diversity.”
The show has an age guidance of 15 plus.