5 Minutes With The Queens From Priscilla The Party!

Dust off your wigs and heels and cover yourself in all the glitter you can find, the hit musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert is now a party! Playing at HERE at Outernet, the show will transport you to the Australian outback where you will enjoy a dazzling array of over 500 eye-popping costumes, and dance along to a hit parade of dance floor classics.

This week, we sat down with Dakota Starr and Reece Kerridge who play Bernadette and Adam/Felicia respectively in this fierce immersive experience. They tell all on what it's like to tackle such iconic roles, why Priscilla has endured for so long, and what on earth audiences can expect at this party...

Check out our conversation below, and book your tickets today!

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Can you tell us a bit more about the characters you play in Priscilla The Party!?

Dakota: I play Bernadette, who is the oldest of the three travelling drag queens. A trans woman and trailblazer. A retired old-Hollywood-style starlet, who is dragged out of retirement to travel across the desert with Adam and Tick for one last big show.

Reece: I play Adam/Felicia, the youngest of the three drag queens. Adam/Felicia is a bold, fresh, flamboyant character with a naivety to the world and others around him. He goes on this journey learning life’s lessons to find out that the comfort of his everyday life isn’t the same in other parts of the country. He comes up against some trouble in a dead neck town when he pushes the boundaries too far. 


Photography: Marc Brenner


Priscilla The Party! is inspired by the cult classic film and musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Is it daunting taking on roles that many people already know and love? How do you navigate this?

Dakota: I saw the film when I was 20 (a long time ago…) and re-watched it when I got the job, but have never seen the musical. So in that sense, it wasn’t daunting at all. I just approached the character as I would any other part. I tried to find the arc of the character’s experience and journey, and tried to portray that as honestly as possible. I offer the people who love these roles my take on Bernadette, from the point of view of a transgender person, without any attempt to live up to, or emulate, previous incarnations of her.

Reece: Taking on any role is daunting, however each person brings something fresh and new to the character. One thing I love about taking on this role is showing a younger side to Adam/Felicia and playing on the naivety that he exudes. I love to add parts of other amazing actors that played the role from Oliver Thornton and Daniel Scott to Nick Adams and of course the incredible Guy Pearce. 


Photography: Marc Brenner


The film Priscilla Queen Of The Desert was first released in 1994, why do you think the themes continue to resonate with audiences around the world?

Dakota: Unfortunately we live in a violent world, a sometimes frightening place, where there is still homophobia, transphobia and prejudice. The experiences of these characters in the 90’s feel as relevant now as they did then. Although progress has been made, it’s not over. More needs to be done. The themes of family, friendship, authenticity, love, camaraderie, and inclusion will remain relevant and resonant for as long as there are people.

Reece: Relevance. The themes which are portrayed through the story are still present in today’s world and re-staging this story brings it to older, current and new generations, introducing them to this incredible queer story. It’s wonderful to watch audience reactions to various parts of the show including the homophobic abuse. Seeing an audience rally together and support us on stage through those moments is magical. Also, having three queens of different generations means there’s always someone to relate to and having a relatable story with relatable characters is so special and needed. It’s a kind of support that people don’t know they need wherever they are in their own personal journeys. 


Photography: Marc Brenner


Rather than being just a theatre show, Priscilla The Party! is an immersive experience. How are the audience involved in the show?

Dakota: The set moves through the audience and action takes place all over the space. The audience are allowed to dance, move around, get drinks. No one gets picked on or dragged on stage against their will or anything!

Reece: The audience make this show. You will be involved in ways you wouldn’t imagine. The story sends the three queens into various locations and you, the audience, will become characters in those scenes. We go to a bar in Broken Hill and you are the punters, we go to Coober Pedy and you become members of the town. So you get to be fully immersed in the story and see it from a completely different angle. You have the freedom to move around and explore the story rather than sitting down on a theatre seat. So come and join the party bus! 


Photography: Marc Brenner


Without giving any spoilers for people who haven’t seen the show, do you have a favourite moment or line in the show?

Dakota: The moments after the bus is spray painted with homophobic slurs, and the song that follows, which has been added especially for this version, will live with me for a long time.

Reece: My favourite line has got to be, "Bernadette Bassinger, we studied you in history class!"


Photography: Marc Brenner


And finally, describe Priscilla The Party! in 3 words.

Dakota: Extravagant. Feel-good. Inclusive.

Reece: Sequin. Sparkle. Fun! 


You can book tickets now for this fabulously fierce immersive experience!

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