Priscilla Queen of the Desert/Malvern Theatres

WE’RE all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two… but Cliff Richard this ain’t.

Feather boas, stockings, crazy headgear, men in tights, glitter and gloss galore. Hank Marvin and Melvyn Hayes eat your hearts out…

In fact, the only common thread this production shares with the celebrated 1960s movie is that a battered old bus is once again the preferred mode of transport.

But that’s where the similarity most certainly ends… for this is a road trip like no other.

So. A group of friends – drag queens, divas and other assorted exhibitionists - hop on the bus heading for the Australian Outback, intending to stage the performance of a lifetime.

Strictly winner Joe McFadden is Tick alter ego Mitzi, who’s agonising about leaving his wife and child to go on the road.

And yes, you heard me right. Tick is actually – shock horror - hitched to a woman. Repeat, a woman. How weird is that, honky tonks?

As the troupe travels across Oz, they encounter the kind of individual for whom ‘down under’ has a completely different meaning.

And that means clashing with cobbers who don’t necessarily think dodgy looking Sheilas are fair dinkum.

Jam-packed with a cracking array of numbers, including It’s Raining Men, Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, I Love the Nightlife and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, this is indeed a musical calculated to stretch your stocking suspenders to breaking point.

Powered along by Tom Jackson Greaves’ mind-blowing choreography, Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy’s musical arrangements, and Ian Talbot’s lightning-fast directing style, this is a monster of a show that you never want to end.

And you can forget about getting to sleep after this show, for it carries on in your own head long after the curtain comes down.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert runs until Saturday (October 19) and is most certainly not to be missed.

John Phillpott