Jason Donovan returns to Aylesbury Waterside with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, where he will perform in the role of Tick for the third time.
And in an exclusive interview he told me he can’t wait to come back to the town.
Speaking after his first night back in the role - he first appeared as Tick on the London stage in 2009 and then reprised it in the touring production in 2013 - he said: “I like to work,and when a role like this comes along and it’s a familiar role and the audience love it I think, why not do it again. I pretty much remember the words, but I did have to look over the script again.”
And he’s also very happy to be returning to the Waterside, where he appeared with the tour two years ago.
“I like the Aylesbury theatre, it’s new and modern and there’s a wonderful Waitrose next to it. That puts a smile on my face. And Aylesbury is commutable for me. I live in London and can go home each night after the show.”
Jason says his most embarrassing onstage mishap occurred during one of his performances as Tick when he forgot to put his pants on over a skin coloured body suit, but he said: ““I don’t fall over too often. Some nights you hit the notes and some times you don’t, that’s what live theatre is. But the whole show has a feelgood factor and great moments. The audience particularly like the numbers True Colours and I Will Survive.”
Priscilla tells the story of three friends who hop on board a battered old bus searching for love and friendship, and the show is filled with outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dancefloor favourites. Jason said: “The costumes are great for the audience, but from our perspective it can be exhausting, the changes are relentless, the costumes are a challenge.”
And it’s not only the costume changes that will tire Jason. During the tour he will continue to present his Heart Radio show, working from local radio stations near the theatres.
Jason’s career has covered straight acting (he recently finished touring as speech therapist Lionel Logue in the stage production of The King’s Speech), musical theatre and singing. He said: “I did love The King’s Speech, it was a great challenge. I love to act, that’s what I do the best. I’m an actor who sings.”
And singing will be full on in 2016 when, after just one month off after finishing Priscilla, he will start his 10 Good Reasons And Greatest Hits tour starting at the end of February.
Sadly, the tour is not coming to the Waterside, the nearest venues are Watford Colosseum, Northampton Royal & Derngate and New Theatre, Oxford. He said: “I don’t have any say on the venues, the promoters decide on that.”
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, comes to Aylesbury Waterside from Monday October 26 - Saturday 31. Tickets cost from £15 - £45. Box office 0844 871 7607.