Sunday, 29 March 2009
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert reviews: homophobia bad, racist misogyny invisible
Okay! The London reviews for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — The Musical are now in and the suspense is killing me like a pair of six-inch stilettoes stabbed into my cranium. Has anyone noticed the misogyny? Does anyone care that east asians are dissed in a way that would have the blogosphere yelling "homophobia" had it been gays who were the hate figures? Are frocks and Abba the new bread and circuses? Will the producers fuck for spangles?
Beginning with one reaction to the original Oz stage production, The Age euphemises the "genitally precocious mail-order bride".
Michael Billington on the London production in The Guardian dismisses the "synthetic spectacle" and misses the point: "... it is gaudy, garish and loud and seems to be as much about costumes as content."
Nicholas de Jong gushes over "this bitter-sweet, big-hit musical, that stands up for brave sexual outsiders" in the Evening Standard. Yeah. Right on, sistah! "... Priscilla offers a joyful antidote to a world of hatred and violence." Not if you're an East Asian woman, it doesn't.
Michael Coveney in The Independent says simply, "It sort of stinks."
Benedict Nightingale waxes blah in The Times
Charles Spencer in The Telegraph writes, "It makes Mamma Mia! seem like something by Chekhov." He says this approvingly. Given my recent experience with the National Theatre's Burnt By The Sun, I reckon he may have a point.