Jason's set to take to Hippodrome stage
AUSTRALIAN actor and singer Jason Donovan is set to camp it up in Bristol when he stars in musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Since turning down the chance to star in the film of the musical in 1994, he has starred in the West End stage production, judged new talent for the American version, and is now preparing himself to tour the UK.
The former Neighbours actor turned down the role of Tick in the hit film version of Priscilla, which was then offered to fellow soap actor Guy Pearce and became his stepping stone to Hollywood.
Jason said: "I was offered the film and I turned it down but I'm not bitter about it at all. You make decisions that are right for you at the time. But having the chance to be part of the musical has been great.
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"I think Simon Phillips, the director, was looking for a character of my age and thankfully there aren't too many Jason Donovans around."
He added: "I love musicals but I know they have often had this reputation as being cheesy. I think Priscilla breaks that mould, I think shows like Glee and High School Musical have made musicals more current, the landscape of how they are perceived has changed.
"I'm really excited about Priscilla touring – the pressure of the West End is quite tiring and although I'll still be giving 100 per cent in my performance I think we can have a bit more fun with the show when we take it out. It also helps keep it fresh.
"This is one of the few times in my life that I've been associated with a brand and opening a show – I think Joseph was the one other time. It's tough doing eight shows a week but, you know, I'm still talking about Joseph, and that loin cloth."
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual, who agree to perform a drag show at a resort in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert.
They set out from Sydney aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla, and become involved in a comedy of errors as they make their way across the Australian outback.
Jason said: "I've spent a lot of time in Sydney and the type of characters that we play in Priscilla are familiar to me. It's a family show so there is a lot about innuendo and being camp. It's really good fun. This year I had the chance to go back to Australia to be a judge on I Will Survive a reality show looking for talent for the American version of Priscilla. We went to a lot of the locations from the movie so I really feel I've got a long history with the show."
Former Neighbours and Home and Away actor Richard Grieve will appear alongside Jason as Bernadette, and Graham Weaver will play Felicia.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert plays The Bristol Hippodrome from Monday, April 15, to Saturday, April 27. Ring 0844 871 3012 for tickets.