Saturday, 3 October 2009


One of my oldest and  dearest friends (we met aged eight, three decades + more ago) has been in London this week, on holiday from Cape Town with her gorgeous husband.  On Monday night we went to see 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' at The Palace Theatre.  It was completely fantastic.  The cast consists (almost entirely) of deeply sexy men who spend much of the show leaping about in sequins and feathers and spectacularly glittery frocks.   The least sexy amongst them was Jason Donovan, who looked like this:

And like this:

Bless.  He put on a fine show (in fact, having never been much of a fan, I was really impressed).  He was endearingly sweet/frequently funny/sang beautifully, as you'd expect  .... but he just wasn't sexy.  It was weird seeing him in the role of Tick/Mitzi.  It seems like only yesterday when he was Scott Robinson, and looked like this:

In my opinion he wasn't sexy back then, either.  (There are just so many things that I want to say about this photo like What in God's name are they wearing? Isn't Australia meant to be a hot country? but I'm not going to allow myself to go there...)

And so there we all were on Monday night: Oldest Friend & Gorgeous Husband plus Johnnie & Rich plus Alaister & Dave ... plus me.  Perhaps because I was the only one there not part of a 'couple' or perhaps because I just knew that Brixton Man would have loved the show, I kept thinking of him on and off all evening.  As I've managed to not think of him for some time (good girl) I felt annoyed with myself for allowing thoughts of him to intrude on my evening.   Perhaps it was the sight of all that sexy-half-naked-ultra-fit-male-flesh that reminded me of him (and of all that I'm missing).

There was one dancer in particular (bald as a boiled egg, extremely attractive thighs) who looked so much like Brixton Man that when he first shimmied onto the stage I leaned forward in my seat and thought for a moment that it might actually be him.

This is that same man, cleverly disguising his baldness later in the show:

Being reminded of Brixton Man wasn't the only thing that annoyed me on Monday night. 

Before I launch ino a whinge about that, a little bit of background. Oldest Friend's husband is in a wheelchair.  Nine years ago his car left a pitch-dark, deserted road and disappeared into a ditch; twelve hours later he was found, car upside down, his back irrevocably broken.   Many moons before, he and Oldest Friend had been an item.  He was then a 6ft 4"  Adonis: a surfer, tri-athlete, Navy scuba diver and submariner. The ultimate Action Man and (by his own admission) a bit of a shit.  She was madly in love with him.  When he dumped her, she was heartbroken.  After the accident, he was unconscious for several days. When he came round, and not having seen her for years, the first person he asked for was Oldest Friend.

Fast forward one marriage and several years and they're in London and we're all at the Palace Theatre, happily seated in the back row of the stalls where Gorgeous Husband's wheelchair can be accommodated. We're loving the show.  But half-way through, when things start getting truly spectacular, much of the fabulousness takes place on the roof of Priscilla, the dressing-room-on-wheels which Mitzi, Bernadette and Felicia are driving to Alice Springs.  And we can't see a thing because we're so far back that our view of the top of the bus is completely obscured by the overhang of the dress circle.  We can see a variety of feet in a range of breath-taking footwear ... but that's all we can see.

The show's producers have thoughtfully provided TV monitors on either side of the stage for those of us with a restricted view. The monitors are so far away and so terribly small that we can only see enough to know that we're missing out on some prolonged, seriously fantastic action on the roof of the bus.  Actually, it wasn't just annoying; it was a little bit heart-breaking.  Poor Gorgeous Husband felt acutely self-conscious that we were sitting where we were in order to be with him in his wheelchair ... which meant not being able to see the best bits of the show.

No doubt there are all sorts of ridiculous 'health and safety' reasons why he/we couldn't be better accommodated elsewhere in the theatre but whatever they may be, it's just not on.  Of course, none of us minded too much about where we were sitting or what we were missing (we were just happy to be spending precious time with our beloved friends) but Gorgeous Husband clearly minded terribly on our behalf.   He felt personally responsible. And so, despite the show's feel-good happy ending, Gorgeous Husband looked really, really sad when we went around the corner to The Coach & Horses for a post-theatre pint (or, in my case, a large glass of Pinot Grigio).


  1. Oh my heart is sinking for him and all of you. As if being disabled isn't hard enough....why should you be penalised? It makes me so so cross. It's absolutely disgusting. I really think you should complain. This isn't good enough. The show should be adapted if the seating arrangements can't be to allow full view.

    BTW- I've heard it's great fun...and all those bodies....yumm ;0)

  2. Oh, how I can relate! Hope the pint made him feel better, and the Pinot Grigio you xx

  3. Dreadful that that should happen, it must happen to so may people in wheel chairs. I hope someone is brave enough to complain.

    Can't believe that's Jason!

  4. There's an award for you, there by me x