The story of Australia’s most successful musical theatre export, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, would hardly be complete without Tony Sheldon.
The legendary 62-year-old actor has been at the heart of the show every step of the way, playing the role of Bernadette more than 1750 times, first in the original Australian production, then on the West End, where he was nominated for an Olivier Award, and then on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Tony Award.
Now, Sheldon is hopping back on the bus for the 10th anniversary Australian tour, kicking off in Melbourne in January next year, before touring to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
The role of Bernadette has Sheldon’s fingerprints all over it, given that he was involved in the initial workshops for the musical, and played a significant part in shaping Bernadette’s journey to the stage. His performance in the role has been praised all over the world as providing the musical with its soul, and provided his entree into New York’s theatre scene, where he’s been working for the last several years.
Sheldon is arguably more synonymous with the role of Bernadette than Terence Stamp, who originated the role in Stephan Elliott’s original 1994 movie.
Joining Sheldon in the new production is David Harris, who has also been working in the U.S. for several years, and Euan Doidge, who moves from playing a drag queen in Kinky Boots to a drag queen in Priscilla. Harris plays Tick, the role made famous by Hugo Weaving, while Doidge plays Felicia, made famous by Guy Pearce.
Harris is known locally for his performances in Miss Saigon, Wicked and Legally Blonde. Doidge is currently appearing as one of the Angels in Kinky Boots and understudies the leading role of Lola. He also played Marius in the recent Australian tour of Les Miserables.
Further casting details will be announced in the near future.