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Priscilla Queen of Dartford

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 September 2019

From the big screen to the stage - Priscilla has been thrilling audiences for years. Picture: Darren Bell

From the big screen to the stage - Priscilla has been thrilling audiences for years. Picture: Darren Bell

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The movie rapidly became a cult must-see for millions all around the world and now there is a great chance of seeing Priscilla Queen of the Desert on stage.

From the big screen to the stage - Priscilla has been thrilling audiences for yearsFrom the big screen to the stage - Priscilla has been thrilling audiences for years

It will be at The Orchard Theatre's freshly refurbished auditorium with new decor, lighting, sound and seating from Thursday, September 5.

Priscilla stars Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, known for his roles in Holby City, Casualty, and Heartbeat.

It is a hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Australia's wild outback to put on the show of a lifetime.

Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness, and acceptance.

Joe McFadden will be taking audiences into the Australian outback as Priscilla Queen of the Desert wafts into Dartford. Picture: Joe McFaddenJoe McFadden will be taking audiences into the Australian outback as Priscilla Queen of the Desert wafts into Dartford. Picture: Joe McFadden

With more glitter than ever before, this smash-hit show features a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance floor classics including Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, I Love the Nightlife and Finally.

Joe, who plays Tick and Mitzi, said: "I really loved the original movie.

"I think it's something everyone has an awareness of. I actually saw the production at the Palace in London years ago. It's such a vibrant show, I remember being blown away by it, and especially by how great the music was.

"There's loads of things that really work, so many fantastic songs in there, as well as it being a great story. It was way ahead of its time; I think it's one of the first pieces of drama that was centred around a trans person and that was discussing things like gay parenting. It's completely timeless as well as being super entertaining and joyous. It has all the best elements of a great musical."

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Explaining some of the plot, he said: "It starts with my character Tick working in Sydney in a drag bar, enjoying his life, just as he gets a call from his past. We find out he has a wife, who asks him to come and do a show at Alice Springs and spend some time with his son who he hasn't had much contact with.

"He decides to rope in a couple of his pals and travel across Australia in a big bus. His friends think they are just going to do the show, and have no idea why they are really going, or that he even has a child.

"The relationship between the three friends really drives the story as they find out he has this whole other life they had no idea about.

"They get themselves into some quite dangerous situations as they travel across the Outback and meet some interesting characters, and they all have to make big decisions about being themselves or conforming. There's loads in there for audiences to get their teeth into.

"It is a brand new production, it's a whole new design. I think it is going to be really interesting and different from perhaps the show that people might have seen before."

On the trans agenda, he said: "Sadly, we don't live in a world where people aren't fighting these battles still, so that sort of makes it still timely and still relevant. People are slightly more used to seeing things like drag, but a lot of the serious issues are still around sadly."

The producer is Jason Donovan and Joe said: "He is so knowledgeable about the show. He's played it in the West End and on tour, and just having his input is brilliant because he's been there, he's actually played this part and I'm hugely in debt to him for getting the part because he really championed me. To have his seal of approval really means a lot, he's been nothing but complementary and encouraging and it's been fantastic."

The former Neighbours star had some excellent advice to surviving the show.

Joe said: "Looking after your back in the huge heels. He recommended me to get used to walking in the heels, even wearing them in the photo shoot was tricky."

The show will be at The Orchard, Dartford, from September 5-14

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