Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 2nd October 2013

Priscilla – Queen of the Desert

Othello on Thursday and Priscilla on Saturday - from the sublime to the 'cor blimey' as they say.

I loved the film which came out almost two decades ago. It’s a great film with which I empathized for having lived in Australia in the 60’s and made a tour with a group of Australian actors taking Shakespeare to the Outback although we didn’t get as far as Alice.

I took my son (who now lives in Australia) to see the show in London, partly because I think it is great fun and has great numbers (from ‘my era’ the 70’s and 80’s) and also because it starred Jason Donovan one of my Bush-mates in ‘I’m a Celebrity’ in 2006. Jason was superb as were the whole cast.

After the show Jonathan and I went backstage to see Jason. He told us that he’d been asked to go on tour with the show but said he was totally exhausted and wouldn’t be accepting . However I see that his name is mentioned as revisiting the part of Tick for parts of the tour.

I wondered what the touring version would be like. Unless my memory is playing tricks, I think the touring production is a great deal more ‘crude’ than the London version. Why the modern generation equate ‘crudeness’ with comedy is beyond my comprehension.

That said, the show was highly enjoyable and the cast were just as professional as they were in London. I’m sorry now that I didn’t buy a programme because looking on line I see that one of the main characters is played by Giles Watling – and I’m sure that I met him as a young boy when he accompanied his parents to Australia and his father Jack Watling starred in a comedy called ‘Diplomatic Baggage’ (a bit like Boeing Boeing) in which I played the French woman Eloise. We had great fun and Jack and Pat were a delightful couple.

It’s difficult to single out one of the main characters for especial praise because they were all so good but if I have to make a choice it must be Richard Grieve playing the transsexual Bernadette. Not only is he/she very beautiful with the most fantastic legs but she plays the role so sympathetically you find yourself praying that Bob will fall for her – or at least I did. And Bob was also played superbly and sympathetically.

Couldn’t believe the ‘legs of the cast’ nearly all of whom were men. With almost no exception they all had legs to make a girl green with envy!

So all in all a very enjoyable evening – almost spoiled by the behaviour of the audience. I feel that so many of the public are unused to attending theatre and they talk and communicate as though they are at home in front of the TV. And what is this growing habit of rising to one’s feet several minutes before the show ends? To rise at the curtain call to give a standing ovation is one thing but to stand and gyrate in time to the music at the end of a show - totally oblivious to the sight lines of those behind them to the point that everyone has to stand if they want to see the end of the show –that is selfish. Sadly it is a growing trend which I’ve experienced a few times in the past couple of years. And despite the ‘no cameras’ there were several flashes going off during the show. There again the audience have no idea how distracting that can be to the actors on stage particularly if the production is a Drama.

A rave from the past - as Eloise in 'Diplomatic Baggage' - The Palace Theatre, Sydney (now no more)


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