“Just what this country needs: another cock in a frock on a rock!!”

I just spent a wonderful weekend in London, on a coach trip to see the fabulous musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

The show takes us on a lurid journey across the Australian Outback with two flamboyant drag queens – Tick/Mitzi Mitosis (played by Ben Richards, of Footballers Wives fame) and Adam/Felicia Jollygoodfellow (Oliver Thornton) – and a transsexual, Bernadette Bassinger, formerly Ralph (Don Gallagher), in a huge bus which they christen Priscilla.

And stone the flamin’ crows, it also stars Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (who plays Alf Stewart) as Bob, a mechanic who falls for Bernadette.

The 1994 film from which the musical is adapted really brought gay culture into the mainstream, and popularised the cheesy disco hits and gay anthems on its soundtrack, which have become numbers in the show.  They include Go West by the Village People, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, Venus by Bananarama, Hot Stuff by Donna Summer and Finally by CeCe Peniston (huh huh, snigger, that word has “penis” in it, snigger).  There is also a medley of hits by the trio’s idol, and the ultimate gay icon these days it seems, Kylie.

It truly is a wonderful show.  I would heartily recommend it – but it’s not for the homophobic!

A highlight came after the show when we hung around at the stage door and managed to meet the lovely Oliver Thornton, who plays the outrageous Felicia (the role taken by Guy Pearce in the film).  My mum took a photo of my friend Ros and me with Oliver – but managed to cut me off!!!  Cheers Mum!  So you’ll have to take my word for it that I was there.

We had an ace time in London, also managing to “see the sights” on an open-top bus tour, which took in Nelson’s Column, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, etc, etc.

I was unashamedly excited to see these huge and intricately designed iconic buildings “in the flesh,” so to speak, after being accustomed to them being backdrops on the news.  If unfamiliar with London geography, you tend to imagine these attractions are miles apart, but in fact they are in relatively close proximity.

I find coach trips tiring, though.  I couldn’t do them on a regular basis like some of my friends do.  I certainly couldn’t do a coach holiday; I wouldn’t want to be on and off a bus for a week or fortnight.  Two days was enough for me.  Anything longer and I’d started to get frustrated and claustrophobic; the need to “stretch my legs” would drive me mad.

Perhaps I need to hire a bus like Priscilla?

Here are a few piccies from the weekend (you can click on them to enlarge):

This is me and my friend Ros outside the theatre

 

The iconic stiletto

 

Big Ben

 

Animals in War memorial in Park Lane

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