IT IS a story that has been told in theatres across the world; the journey of three drag queens and transgender women travelling across the Outback of Australia.

But one stop this journey hasn’t made is to Basingstoke, until now.

Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) will bring Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to the Haymarket from November 14 until November 24.

The show follows the three friends, Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback.

They hop aboard a battered old bus - nicknamed Priscilla - searching for dreams and friendship – but discover much more.

As with all BATS shows, the cast is made up of performers from Basingstoke and the surrounding areas with Bryn Hughes as Tick, Ian Moseley as Bernadette and Doug Cairns as Adam.

Ian is rehearsing in heels and a skirt for his role as Bernadette -one of the first transgender characters to appear in a musical - and Ian is determined to get his portrayal right.

He said: “She’s a wonderful character to play. She’s been through a lot and her hardness on the outside masks her real vulnerability. She’s also got some brilliantly bitchy lines.

“Priscilla is one of my favourite shows with its themes of tolerance and acceptance, along with all the fantastic disco songs and spectacular costumes.”

Directed and choreographed by Martyn Knight, musical director Julie Dance is making sure all the cast are used to their costumes and high heels.

With a dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dancefloor favourites including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Finally, this wildly fresh and funny show promises a fantastic night at the theatre.

For Doug the transformation playing Adam has been a way to come out of his shell.

He said: “I think I’m perceived as quite a quiet, thoughtful person so I’m loving bringing out the over-the-top side of my personality.”

By day Doug wields a welding torch, creating sets for theatrical productions and corporate events, but during rehearsals he says he has really embraced the character.

“I’ve always loved dressing up,” Doug added.

“I spent weeks preparing my Queen Victoria costume for my Halloween party at university.”

Doug graduated from Warwick last year with a degree in theatre and performance studies. While there he designed the sets for musicals including Cabaret, Anything Goes and Little Shop Of Horrors, as well as playing lead roles. He also got his first taste of Priscilla.

“I was in the play Trainspotting, which is pretty dark and intense, while Priscilla was being staged in the theatre next door,” he continued.

“When we came offstage we could hear the Priscilla band playing upbeat songs like I Will Survive and Colour My World.

“I then watched the film, loved it, and when BATS announced they were doing the show I was encouraged to audition. I’m so glad I did.”

Performances are at 7.30pm with 2.30pm shows on November 17 and 24.

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