Priscilla Queen of the Desert
The Musical

Was devised by Allan Scott and written by him with Stephan Elliott. The show was developed by the director Simon Phillips with input from the entire cast, music director and just about any clever person with a good idea who happened to be strolling past the rehearsal room in Melbourne in the Spring of 2006 where the project was augmented and improved in a week-long workshop.

The first production was at The Lyric theatre in Sydney where it opened in October 2006 to rave reviews and an audience whose enthusiasm became the hallmark of the production.

In March 2009 the bus trundled onto the London stage of The Palace Theatre in Cambridge Circus. An entirely new cast, with the exception of Tony Sheldon who easily defeated all attempts by the Immigration Service to keep him out. And, at a cost of little short of a million pounds, an entirely new full size and magically moving bus, opened a lavish new production of Priscilla to an almost uniformly delighted British audience.

Writing a diary of the run-up to opening in The Spectator magazine, writer-producer Allan Scott noted that most of the male performers occupied a warren of rooms on the top floor of the theatre where a large sign proclaimed: "Sexual harassment in this area will not be prosecuted. It will, however, be rated."

Wonderful reviews (and the usual handful less than wonderful) greeted the production which became a West End staple for almost 3 years, winning awards and friends and proudly creating an innovative kind of display outside the theatre - a gigantic silver high heeled shoe. Daily reports on every performance of the London run confirm that every single performance received a standing ovation from the audience. With the exception of one afternoon matinee, when the audience remained seated

Unabashed by this latter fact, Priscilla prepared for the move to Broadway by way of Toronto with the first North American performance given at the Palace Theatre, Times Square, opening on March 2011.

Priscilla the musical, bus
priscilla the musical, the divas

The entire show was significantly refined, revamped and doctored. The revised version of Priscilla had several musical numbers replaced and the leading trio turned away from their worship of Kylie in favour of Madonna with appropriate changes to the music.
Read the New York reviews

New York embraced the show and underlined their embrace with Tony nominations for the costumes and for Tony Sheldon as best actor in a musical. View the full credits of the Broadway production

When the New York production finally closed some 16 months later, the production provided the springboard for a US touring production which, along with a UK tour and several imminent productions in various foreign languages, continues at this time of writing.

Along the way, the Priscilla bus scooped a handful of awards, nominations and other marks of welcome. But none of these, welcome though they may be, is equal to the satisfaction given by the sheer enthusiasm of every single audience which has stood to applaud during the show's finale. All except that one matinee. Perhaps that audience should see it again.

Tony Sheldon as Bernadette
Priscilla Queen of the desert


"Priscilla is deservedly an Australian success story. It reclaims its crown as one of the most enlightened, tolerant, polished and magical shows produced in recent years"

"Tony Sheldon is sensational as the buoyant and brooding Bernadette"

Toronto Reviews

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is a grand, glorious and gorgeous piece of musical theatre that will fill the heart of anyone who has ever loved - or wanted to be loved."

New York Reviews

"Oscar-winning wardrobe dreamed up by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, who recreate their greatest hits for the stage version: the gargantuan club-kid rubber platforms, the topiary headpieces, the hot-pink-and-orange sheath constructed entirely of flip-flops"