Former Hear’Say star Noel Sullivan admits he’s learning a brand-new set of skills for Priscilla Queen Of The Desert: The Musical.
How to put on tights without laddering them, for instance.
“Not that I think I will ever need that particular skill again!”
But the point is that after huge success on tour and in London with We Will Rock You, he thought he would never find anything quite to equal its leading role of Galileo.
“But now this has come along on a very different and very colourful journey.”
The show plays The Mayflower in Southampton from May 27-June 8
Noel, who’s just joined the show, will star as Tick from May 27-June 1 before Jason Donovan resumes the role for the second week.
“I have just done two weeks in it,” Noel says, “and I am still recovering from the experience! It’s really, really full on, and I can honestly say I have never been in anything like it before. It very much pushes you out of your comfort zone into this fabulous place that has been on the road since January.
“Everyone knows what they are doing, so that’s a winner, and if I feel like I don’t know what I am doing, they are all incredibly supportive to me. The cast has been really warm and welcoming, and Jason has been saying ‘Just shadow me’.”
Part of the challenge is the outrageous costumes: “I have nine costume changes in the first half hour, everything from a dress made out of flip-flops to a three-metre headdress. With the changing, there’s as much action going on backstage as on stage.”
But it’s a delight to be in – thanks for three key equally-important elements. You’ve got great music, a hit parade of dance floor favourites including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and I Love The Nightlife – hits that you don’t generally get to hear played live.
You’ve got the costumes; and you’ve got the story.
Noel/Jason plays a jaded Sydney drag act who travels to his estranged wife’s casino in Alice Springs to see the six-year-old son he has never met.
As Noel says, it’s a strong story: “The show is camp, and it is flamboyant, but it is also about a guy that lives an alternative lifestyle facing up to the responsibilities of fatherhood.”
Tickets on 02380 711811 or visit www.mayflowertheatre.org.uk.