Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical – Review

I saw the movie, upon which the theatre show is based, called “The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert” in 1994. I loved it back then and was “over the moon” when I heard that a theatrical version was made.

After a successful and triumphant run at Artscape in Cape Town, the show is now finally at Johannesburg’s Teatro at Montecasino!

I had the privilege of being invited to the media opening night (30 April 2017) and was blown away by the amazing choreography, costumes, wigs, art direction and stage props. The Teatro was all dressed up in true Priscilla style, with the venue, ushers, merchandise sellers and some patrons all dolled up with drag queen regalia.


Not since “Mamma Mia” and “Dirty Dancing” has there been so much anticipation and excitement about a theatre musical. And I was not disappointed! The magic of musicals like Priscilla, is that the pop/disco songs that are sung, portray the emotions and thoughts that the character is going through at the time, and the selection in Priscilla will having you clapping and tapping your feet to the beat of dance floor classics such at “I like the nightlife”, “I say a little prayer”, “Go West” and “I will survive.”

Photo Credit – Nardus Engelbrecht

The lead roles, played by veteran South African actors, David Dennis as Bernadette, Daniel Buys as Tick/Mitzi and Phillip Schnetler as Adam/Felicia, are spectacular. The trifecta of being able to sing, dance and act, all live on stage, is really something to witness, and if this is done with the talent that I saw last night, then such an act is rare indeed.

I take my hat off to the director Simon Phillips, Choreographers Ross Coleman and Andrew Hallsworth, Production Designer Brian Thomson, musicians, producers and the myriad of behind-the-scenes creatives and talent that brought this production to South Africa, because this is world class!

Photo credit – Nardus Engelbrecht

I highly recommend you buy the top quality program (R50) to keep as a souvenir, as it details the many awards won and various international productions that Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, has undergone, as well as the full biographies of the cast and crew.

PRISCILLA BUS – Photo Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Here is some more information about the show and where you can get tickets:

Presented by Showtime Management in association with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Nullarbor Productions, and featuring an all South African cast, Priscilla will be on stage at Montecasino’s Teatro from Saturday, 29 April to 18 June 2017. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. Hashtag: #PriscillaSA. Brought to South Africa in association with BBC First.

Photo Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical originally opened in Australia in 2006 and after a sell-out two year run, opened on London’s West End, followed by Broadway in New York. The show continues to wow audiences across the globe with recent return tours to the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It has won awards all over the world, including prestigious Olivier and Tony awards.

Critics the world over rave! The Herald Sun (Australia) claims the show is “Vivid, daring and over-the-top” while The Daily Telegraph (UK) sums up the show as being “hugely entertaining … insanely glitzy”.

Photo Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a heart-warming and uplifting tale of three drag artist friends who hop aboard a battered old bus aka “Priscilla” and go off on the adventure of a life-time through the Australian Outback, to perform in Alice Springs.  On the way they find friendship, love and far more than they ever dreamed of.

With a dazzling array of over 500 award-winning costumes, 200 extraordinary head-dresses and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Showtime Management’s Hazel Feldman says: “Priscilla is the ultimate ‘feel-good’ show. This dazzling musical has all the ingredients for a superb night out: the most wonderful costumes, outrageous glamour, music that will have you dancing in your seat and a funny yet touching story line. No wonder this show has been such a massive hit from the West End to Broadway and beyond.”

The proudly South African, exceptionally talented 28-member cast, live band, crew and creative team will give audiences a night of unforgettable performances, nostalgic music and an entertainment experience with all the sparkle to share in Priscilla’s “fabulousness”.

The principal roles will be played by stellar stage, screen and television performers including David Dennis who has achieved prominence in leading roles from classical to contemporary and musical theatre to film and television over the past three decades (Pirates of Penzance, Starlight Classics and movies 10000BC, Winnie and Zambezia); Daniel Buys (Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Saturday Night Fever); Phillip Schnetler (Saturday Night Fever, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and veteran actor, James Borthwick (Sunset Boulevard, Evita and over 200 other productions).

Additional roles are played by Taryn-Lee Hudson (Singin’ in the Rain, Jersey Boys), Chantal Herman (Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Noah of Cape Town) and Candice van Litsenborgh (AnnieSweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard) with Candida Mosoma (Lion King, Sister Act, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat), The Voice of SA finalist, Thembeka Mnguni (High School Musical, Grease) and Durban born Londiwe Dhlomo (Cabaret, Little Shopof Horrors, Puss in Boots) as the three dazzling Divas.

Priscilla’s Worldwide Director, Dean Bryant together with Choreographer, Andrew Hallsworth will be coming to South Africa from Australia to mount the show together with Resident Director, Anton Luitingh; Musical Director, Bryan Schimmel and Resident Choreographer, Duane Alexander.

Board the bus! Bring your “fabulousness” on this highly entertaining journey.

Book now at Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit or your nearest Computicket service centre.

This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.

Special hospitality packages as well as Show & Stay packages available from Montecasino Hospitality & Corporate Events, (011) 3674250 or

Stay current on the latest news through social media on Facebook,  Twitter  and YouTube using #PriscillaSA


 VENUE: Teatro at Montecasino

DATES: Saturday, 29 April to Sunday, 18 June 2017


No Monday performances, except for Monday 01 May 6pm (Workers Day Public Holiday).

Weekdays: Tuesdays to Fridays 20h00

Weekends: Saturdays 15h00, 20h00; Sundays 14h00, 18h00


Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays 6pm:  R150, R250, R350, R450 inclusive

Fridays/Saturdays (matinee and evening) and Sunday matinees: R200, R300, R400, R500 inclusive


Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit or

visit your nearest Computicket outlet



20% Discount on groups of 20 and more – all midweek performances  and Sunday evenings only

Bookings through Jill Somers, 079 218 1658,



For Montecasino Group Hospitality Packages (20+ tickets) or 011 367 4250



For Montecasino Show and Stay Packages at one of the Montecasino Hotels,  telephone 011 367 4250  or


Website –

Facebook – montecasino

Twitter – @montecasinoza


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