Archive for January, 2018

Make way for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd is all ready for Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which opens in The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre on Friday 2 February and runs until Saturday 10 February – more details here

The story: Drag queens Tick and Adam, and a trans woman, Bernadette, go on a road trip through the Australian outback when Tick's estranged wife calls in a favour. Their unreliable tour bus, Priscilla, takes them on a voyage of discovery – encountering redneck homophobia, new love and self-acceptance on the way to giving the performance of their lives. Based on the award-winning 1994 film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert has a contagiously upbeat soundtrack of disco hits. 

And the cast can't wait for opening night!

“Working on a production of this scale has been a very thrilling process. It isn't every day that you get to strut around on the stage in heels impersonating Tina Turner. Colin Mayes and P.J. McEvoy, the two designers on the show, have incredible creative images which they are applying to costumes, set and projection. It isn't easy to transform a cast of young adults into a whole array of crayons, paintbrushes and rollers but they are doing a fantastic job. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a massive feel-good show which carries a strong message of acceptance and love; topics which are very relevant to the world we live in today. I am extremely excited to be able to go out and share this heart-warming story to a new audience each night.”


Harry Winchester (Miss Understanding)





“Being part of such an extravagant musical has been a dream to be in. Priscilla Queen of the Desert shares a very important and relevant message to all people and it has been an honour to be able to express all the different topics the show covers, from friendship, parental love, acceptance and LGBT community. The role of Cynthia is not only a comical character which I’ve LOVED portraying every second, it also illustrates a message to always be true to yourself and carry on doing what you love. To be given this opportunity has been a real blessing and I will be forever grateful for all the life lessons I have learnt throughout this process.”


Jessica Lee (Cynthia)






“Working on Priscilla has been an absolute dream for me creatively. The show has an incredible soundtrack and a hilarious book, so the rehearsal process has been masses of fun. Really loving the music and knowing how much I'm going to laugh makes it such a joy to go to rehearsals!

The show also has a really moving storyline with some very complex characters and it's been a great pleasure to delve into what the heart of the story is really about. I am playing Tick, a drag queen who struggles with anxiety and fear of a world that seems to not accept him as he travels across Australia to meet his son. Tick has been a real challenge for me as there are many facets to his character and the role demands a great deal of emotional range. I've absolutely loved rising to these challenges and working with the creatives to really get to know this character.

Overall the show is a non-stop barrage of energy, jokes and great music, with a truly moving story of love, parenthood and acceptance. I'd encourage everyone to come and see this glorious show performed by such a wonderfully talented cast!”


Ben Tyler (Tick/Mitzi)


Don't forget to tell us how much you enjoy the show – join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Hats off to a brand new year at ArtsEd!

Posted on: January 12th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd is looking forward to a dazzling new production opening in the Studio Theatre on Friday 19 January. Show runs until Saturday 27 January.

Top Hat* is a fabulously witty, light-footed farce featuring some of Irving Berlin's most famous songs, including Puttin' On the Ritz, Cheek to Cheek and Let's Face the Music and Dance. Broadway star Jerry Travers, arriving in London to perform in producer Horace Hardwick's latest West End show, accidentally dances into the life of glamorous model Dale Tremont and falls instantly in love. Pursuing her from London to Venice, he is thwarted by a case of mistaken identity and a rival suitor – flamboyant Italian fashion designer, Beddini. But can Hardwick's sneaky valet, Bates, help save the day?

Our Marketing Officer, Tess Henderson has been out and about behind the scenes at ArtsEd talking to cast and creatives.

Director Richard Fitch is full of infectious enthusiasm:

“This production of Top Hat is likely to be a version of the show that you have never seen and won’t ever get to see again. Whilst keeping hold of the sharp wit, incredible score and endearing love story at its centre, we aim to showcase what it is to fall in love in a way that resonates with both a 1930’s and contemporary audience. The students inject this show with infinite charm, class and precision and along with the stunning choreography, the show is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud, humming and tapping long after the show ends.”


While members of the cast are equally excited:

“The entirety of rehearsals have been truly splendid. We are exceptionally lucky to have such a hard working creative team on board, who have given us a motivating and professional environment to work in, preparing us for the industry. Playing Dale has been an absolute dream of mine and I have loved embracing her gutsy yet angelic personality. We are very thankful of the school, especially Chris Hocking for having faith in us to pull off such iconic material. I am so excited for opening night and to be able to share our work with the public, we hope everyone enjoys the performance.”

Hannah Lawson (Dale Tremont)







“The rehearsal process for Top Hat has been an absolute joy. There's a wonderful sense of collaboration and camaraderie in the room. The show is old school musical comedy – there's mistaken identity and big ensemble tap numbers that have been beautifully crafted by our choreographer, Ashley Nottingham. I'm already not looking forward to letting go of Madge. She's blunt, feisty and she knows her own worth; stepping into her shoes has been really empowering. I also get to wear some fab dresses thanks to our designer and the costume department!”

Clancy Ryan (Madge Hardwick)









“The process of this show has been bliss. Horace has been a real challenge for me! He has such fast qualities and an anxiety that took me a while to connect with. I think everyone’s in for a good night of light hearted 


Charlie Ellerton (Horace Hardwick)





So to all the lucky ticket holders out there, we look forward to welcoming you to ArtsEd!

And don't forget to tell us how much you enjoy the show – join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

*Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Based on RKO’s Motion Picture
Book by Matthew White & Howard Jacques
An amateur production by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe