Priscilla Queen of the Desert

It’s a feast of fabulous pop, a delightfully camp explosion of colour and a fun story too. Brighton and Hove Operatic Society certainly reflect all that and there are some excellent performances in this suitably fun seasonal offering. The Divas are simply fabulous, absolutely nailing their close harmonies and soulful renderings of pop classics. There are some great comic performances too in what is really a string of tableaux as they trundle through the Australian outback and encounter redneck attitudes and some signs of tolerance and hope.

The three principals are great, Tony Bright as Tick has a rich voice and plays the role with sincerity. Josh Hanson as Adam is campness personified and his shrill performance has all the edge required of bitchy Felicia. But the star of the evening has to be Wain Douglas who truly captures the character of Bernadette, the harsh acid tongue perfectly married to the deep sadness and sense of extended regret. Douglas, AKA Kara Van Park, has an incredible voice and when at the fore it actually raises the quality of the show more than a few pegs.

Sadly for me however, in my rather poor seat at the back of the theatre, the sound quality of the whole was shockingly poor. The backing track sounding rather like it was being played on comb and toilet paper, a reference that younger readers might need explained. There was a constant hiss thin tinniness to it. In addition the solo and ensemble voices were underpowered. I did notice on leaving the theatre and reverse-scaling the stairs that as I neared the stage the sound was much better, but from where I sat it rather spoilt what should have been a far better evening.

The Old Market

7 December

Andrew Kay


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