Erskinville’s drag loving punters are up in arms as their favourite show has been yanked from its traditional Saturday night spot at The Imperial.
Since the 1994 movie was a smash hit and put the Sydney gay venue on the map was a world-class drag destination, the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert has been a constant feature of its entertainment line-up. That was until last month, when it was suddenly replaced with a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (pictured above) each Saturday night.
Longtime punters at the Impy fear their beloved Priscilla cast have been handed their wigs and given their marching orders in favour of a young amateur band musical theatre troupe.
The move seems like poor timing. Ten’s new talent show I Will Survive is based on the Priscilla story, and is set to debut on our small screens this Spring.
When Same Same visited the Imperial at the weekend, several locals shared their concerns about the venue’s recent move away from drag shows. So is the long-time queer drinking spot straightening up?
The Imperial’s event manager Craig Galvin is well aware of many Priscilla fans’ disapproval, and today reassures drag-loving drinkers that their favourite show will be back soon.
“Priscilla hasn’t finished – it’s just on hold,” he tells Same Same. “We’re actually creating a bigger and better version of it. Three weeks ago, the original cast signed off and gave us their blessing.
“I knew we’d experience some backlash for trying new things on Saturday nights, but we wanted to change things up a bit before the all-new Priscilla returns.”
Casting is now underway for a new-and-improved Priscilla show, which Galvin promises will be faithful to the original story, with a bigger cast. The aim is to launch it in the first weekend of Spring, before the I Will Survive TV show – which features scenes filmed in the Imperial – is broadcast.
In the meantime, this Friday night sees another new show begin at the much-loved nightspot. The Chicago musical will debut seven all-new drag divas, and Galvin promises it’ll be “amazing.”
Check out our photos from The Imperial’s Rocky Horror show below.