Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Audition Preparation

With Priscilla Queen of the Desert auditions kicking off in Melbourne next week, we thought we would pull together a little information to help all those preparing to strut their stuff.

General Information

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical is based on the the hit 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which starred Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp. The film is currently streaming on Stan and Foxtel Now.

The musical had its world première in Sydney, opening on 7 October 2006, before continuing to Melbourne, New Zealand and then back to Sydney for a return season before closing more than two years later on 21 December 2008.

There is an Australian Cast Recording which is available on iTunes and Spotify.

For more information visit the official website at:

Please note that audition registration is closed, so if you don’t have an audition at this point, it is probably too late.


Based on the 1994 popular movie of the same name, Priscilla Queen of the Desert follows the journey of two drag queens, Tick and Adam, and a transgender woman, Bernadette, as they travel across Australia in their bus, named Priscilla. Tick has been asked to perform at a hotel in Alice Springs by his estranged wife, Marion. Taking Adam and Bernadette along with him, the trio drive from Sydney to the remote resort town in the middle of the desert. Tick tells his companions that the trip is a favour to his wife, from whom he is separated, but does not reveal that he also has an 8-year-old son he does not know, but who now wants to meet his father. As they head west, Tick, Adam, and Bernadette learn to accept and support each other, whilst encountering a number of strange and colourful characters. After experiencing violent homophobic threats, Adam is forced to realise that not everyone is accepting of his flamboyant lifestyle, whilst Bernadette opens up to the possibility of love again following the death of her husband. Upon reaching Alice Springs, Tick finally meets his son, Benjamin, who accepts his father’s homosexuality and drag queen persona. The trio perform at the resort and realise that they have forged a bond that will last forever. Full of well-known pop songs and supported by three divas flying high above the stage, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a flamboyant, funny, disco-fuelled musical that gets the audience up on their feet.

Synopsis from

Creative Team

Director: Simon Phillips

More TBC


Lead Roles

Bernadette Bassenger

A quietly dignified transsexual who must be convincing as an older woman who was once the star performer of ‘Les Girls’. The mother of the group, Bernadette is glamorous, oozing Old Hollywood charm with rapier wit and sensitivity. Must be able to be convincing and touching in her attraction and growing relationship with Bob.

Male. Playing age late 40’s to mid-late 50’s.
Outstanding straight acting, dance, singing and lip-synching ability essential.

Mitzi / Tick

An unremarkable and essentially straight exterior, Tick is a discontented drag queen, the best in the business. Estranged husband of Marion and absent father to 8 year old Benjamin, his journey from disillusionment to fulfilment through being reunited with his son is the central core of the story.

Male. Playing age mid 30’s to early 40’s
Outstanding straight acting, dance, singing (baritone – tenor) and lip-synching ability essential.

Felecia / Adam

A flashy, young drag queen and born performer with a more than occasional bitchy streak. Provocative and outspoken he has a tendency to get himself into trouble with both friends and complete strangers.

Male. Playing age early to late 20’s.
Very well maintained physical features with outstanding character acting, dance, singing (tenor) and lip-synching ability essential.


A mechanic. Typical laconic attitude, soft hearted Aussie bloke who spent years wandering around the world only to find he was better off where he started. Has a fascination with Bernadette whom he saw perform in ‘Les Girls’ in Sydney more than twenty years ago

Male. Playing age 50’s – early 60’s.
Strong acting ability with one song



Hardened outback bar tender/waitress. Good ironic comedy.

Female. Playing age late 40’s to mid-late 50’s
Character acting, dance and strong singing ability – solo and ensemble pieces.


A hotel Entertainment Manager in Darwin, mother of 8 year Benjamin and estranged wife of Tick (Mitzi). A strong, direct and forthright woman who takes charge, but is incredibly accepting of her role as a single mother. There is a deep unconventional affection between her and Tick.

Female. Playing age mid 30’s to early 40’s.
Strong singing and acting. Will be required to sing and dance in ensemble numbers.

The Divas

Sassy and strong, these women lead us through some of the greatest hits of the last decades. All shapes and sizes welcome – but brilliant vocalists in the disco-belt style a must.

Will also be part of the female ensemble

Miss Understanding

A fabulous drag queen with great comic hosting ability. Sets up the tone of the show for us – must be able to work a crowd well, and look brilliant in drag. Ability to deliver Tina Turner numbers convincingly a must.

Character acting, dance and singing ability, mostly all ensemble pieces with one key scene.


Tough miner bloke with violent tendencies. A hardened resident of mining town Cooberpedy. Tall, strapping and very outback Australian.

Male. Playing age late 20’s to mid 30’s.
Character acting, dance and singing ability, mostly all ensemble pieces with one key scene


Friendly indigenous Australian bloke that the queens run into in the desert. Innocent charm and great movement skills – any traditional dance a huge plus.

Male. Playing age late 20’s to mid 30’s.
Character acting, dance and singing ability, mostly all ensemble pieces with one key scene.

Farrah / Young Bernadette

The epitome of grace and glamour – gender illusion rather than drag – Les Girls at its most alluring. Must be a brilliant mover and look stunning and believable as a woman.

Male. Playing age late 20’s to mid 30’s.
Character acting, dance and singing ability, mostly all ensemble pieces with one key scene.

Ensemble / Covers

A number of performers are required to play a variety of ensemble characters in the production.

Male/ Female – Playing ages 18 – 40 with excellent acting, singing and dance ability.

All ethnicities, including Indigenous Australian performers.

Males – over 5ft 10in only – any drag experience a plus.

Females – spectacular vocal ability a must.

The Tour

Melbourne – Opens Jan 2018
Sydney – Opens May 2018
Adelaide – Opens Aug 2018
Brisbane – Opens Sept 2018


Review – Sydney Morning Herald (2008)

Review – The Age (2007)

Review – Australian Stage (2006)

Review – Variety (2006)



I will survive – Dancing with the Stars (Australia)

Macarthur Park – The Divas (Australian Cast) on Channel 10

I will Survive – Broadway cast

The Australian Cast at the AFI Awards

Character Study: Tony Sheldon Transforms Into Bernadette for Priscilla Queen of the Desert –

Tony Sheldon on Q Talks – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Audition Advice

How to blitz your vocal audition: Rachel Cole with Guy Simpson

The dos and don’ts of Dance Auditions with Tom Hodgson

Don’t Panic: Musical Theatre Audition Advice

Audition Sabotage: We all do it, but how can we fix it?



Matt Edwards

Matt is a past owner of AussieTheatre, working as digital director from 2011 to 2019. He is also a performer, most recently appeared in the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! and previously in the Australian/NZ tour of CATS and Enda Markey's acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. As well as performing Matt keeps himself busy in the digital side of the arts working with web design agency Emptyhead Digital

Matt Edwards

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