STAGE REVIEW: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Festival Theatre, Malvern, from Monday, October 14 to Saturday, October 19, 2019.

IT’S non-stop action. A night of great fun, especially if you are broad-minded, and featuring some wonderfully over the top acting along with a plethora of iconic disco anthems from around 40 years ago.

This is an excellent version of the dazzling hit musical which is full of flamboyance and ‘drag queens’ clearly in their element.

This is a brand-new production of the show and is based loosely but lovingly on the 1994 hit film. It follows the adventures of ‘Mitzi’, or rather Tick, when gets two friends and fellow drag artists to join him on a battered old bus they call Priscilla, for a trip into the remotest parts of Australia in pursuit of their dream and in Tick’s case that of normal family life.

Once on board their destination is Alice Springs where they will hopefully put on ‘the show of a lifetime’ and Tick will finally get to meet his six-year-old son.

This UK tour show is a collaboration between Mark Goucher and first-time producer Jason Donovan, who actually performed in the cast of the original West End production and two follow-on UK tours.

It features Strictly Come Dancing winner, Holby City and Heartbeat star, Joe McFadden. He was PC Joe Mason that series set on the Yorkshire moors, and for those with a longer memory he was in Take the High Road.

Now he is winning over a new set of fans with his easy going style and smile.

Although difficult to originally imagine him as a drag queen he pulls the part off to a tee with near perfection as he struts his stuff along with Miles Western, who plays Bernadette, and Nick Hayes, who is Felicia or otherwise Nick.

They make quite a triumvirate with Western having been a Laurence Olivier Award winner.

McFadden may lack a little of the subtleties and flexibility of others in lithe movement but his time on Strictly clearly stands him in good stead, besides he also has a most acceptable voice. Something of a surprise but definitely a pleasant one.

The pace and vivacity shown by all is a clear crowd-pleaser and winner, especially The Divas - Aisha Pease, Claudia Kariuki, and Rose Glossop - a trio who know how to blast and belt out hits such as It’s Raining Men, What’s Love Got To Do With It, and the glorious Go West, and the cast also has a great live band behind them.

It’s all spiced up by a spot of Aussie homophobia, but it’s offset by plenty of laughs and several excellent one-liners.

Overall it’s a great night in ‘the outback’ - an epic journey in many ways that is hilarious, heart-warming and still a smash hit a quarter of a century on from when it became a cult offering at the forefront of coming out!