When I heard that Priscilla was showing in Cape Town and Joburg this year, I knew we needed to do something special. I would attend the JoBurg leg, but we needed eyes on the ground in Cape Town....and for that, only one fabulous woman would do. The Blue Haired Betty!!
A call or two and all was arranged. Once again huge thanks need to go to Debra De Souza...Publicist extraordinaire who will always move mountains to help with requests from her media people.
Note: OF COURSE I will be attending this fantastic show as well. Keep an eye out for my review after the 30th of April !!
And so, with a HUGE thank you for representing the Psychedelic Cow Blog in Cape Town... the CT Priscilla review by our guest writer: The Blue Hair Betty:
I can’t recall ever speaking to someone who hasn’t watched the Priscilla Queen of the Desert movie…or maybe it’s just the circles I move in. Personally, it is a movie that gets popped into the DVD player at least every few years when I need a pick me up of glitter, fantasy and well…cocks in frocks on a rock.
Needless to say when the gossip started circulating that Priscilla The Musical was being put on in South Africa I was going to be sure that I got my sparkly-manicured fingers on a ticket! Being invited to attend the grand opening by Psychedelic Cow was a royal treat.
The Artscape Theatre in Cape Town has a real unchanging old-world charm and arriving to a foyer filled with a welcoming committee donning sparkly top hats and pink feather boas, it was heart-warming to see some theatre-goers also arriving dressed-to-impress. From feather headdresses (although I will remind you to bear in mind the poor soul having to sit behind you), golden mini-skirts and a gentleman in a most glorious diamante-encrusted frock paired with leather sandals.
No one in the audience was however going to upstage the cast! From the moment curtains go up your eyes dazzle – with costumes decorated with sequins, faces adorned with glitter ( about 1.5 pounds a month) head-spinning sets and some eye-watering splits by a very talented and supple Phillip Schnetler (Adam/Felicia)…the cheeky glimpses of butt cheek are very pleasing on the eyes as well.
On the eve of my theatre attendance I happened to get chatting to a friend who had not only seen the show in London, but also attended one of the local “practice runs” a few days before. He assured me the South African production was world-class, being as good as the production he first saw in London. That being said I had very high expectations for the show, especially attending it with a partner who wasn’t a huge fan of the movie, and I was hoping would be dazzled by the theatre show.
From the audience perspective it cannot be said that any expense was spared. From high-flying divas, live musicians, 220 costume changes of 471 costumes and a talented cast from leads, supporting cast and dance chorus-line – each character is meticulously costumed and choreographed, and no nuance of comedy is lost.
My partner most enjoyed transgender Bernadette’s wicked humour and at the first appearance of David Dennis in blond wig and black mourning attire perched on a leopard print chair, said he actually wasn’t sure if it was a man or a woman – goal achieved I’d say!
For me, each character in turn has a moment where they are “my favourite”, and together the three work together seamlessly to ensure not only that choreographic moments are on point, heartfelt moments are sincere, but also that every moment of comedic timing is captured. Even in a large theatre environment small cocks of the head or a side-ways glare easily convey the sexual innuendos and sarcasm which are such an integral part of the show.
When I first read in the program that Daniel Buys (Tick/Mitzi) was a top 5 finalist in SA Idols I was very keen to see what he would do in such an ‘alternative’ role, however he played it wonderfully. Especially with Tick being a character caught between wanting to be a good father figure and still live his life as a gay drag artiste, he easily moved from the flamboyant ‘Mitzi’ to a down-to-earth Tick, where a heartfelt moment between him and his young son Benji had the entire audience rooting and clapping.
Without ignoring the glitz and glam which are such an integral part of the Priscilla story, it is not to miss that at the heart of it there is a very important message of self-love and respect. We may not all have the chance to traverse the Australian outback in search of ourselves, but a trip to the theatre is way more fun in my opinion, anyway! We can all learn a lesson from these three queens – be true to yourself, respect others, and don’t be so damn bothered by what others may think of you…your tribe is out there.
One last glaringly obvious fact I noted?
As a woman I am proud to say that I can do anything a man can do, and in heels, but darling…some men just wear heels so much better!
Editor in Chief by day, freelance copywriter, amateur photographer & blogger by night. I love finding new adventures in food and life and sharing them with my readers.