I first saw Priscilla not long after it premiered in Sydney in October last year. It was interesting to see the show again. There have been some cuts in dialogue and music, which tightens up the story.
The show is very funny, with the best moments and lines from the movie, and more faaaaaaaaaabulous songs along with some of those that featured in the film. Priscilla will be playing in Sydney until late September, and will then move to Melbourne, opening in October.
As I’m sure you know, there were many ABBA references in the movie, including Bernadette’s infamous interjection quoted as the title of this post, the controversial “ABBA turd”, and the “grand finale” featuring a performance of ‘Mamma Mia’ by Mitzi and Felicia.
The stage version removes all references to ABBA. Some of the dialogue references have been changed to Kylie Minogue (and a couple of her songs are included) while others are simply gone from the storyline.
The producers have said that there were “international rights issues” that stopped them from using the ABBA songs, but it’s more than likely that permission wasn’t given because ABBA’s songs are in their own musical Mamma Mia!
These changes actually makes sense for today’s audience. When the movie was filmed, ABBA was extremely popular in the gay community, with the ABBA revival of the 1990s dating back to ABBA theme nights in gay clubs in the late ’80s.
But to a new generation of young gay men, Kylie has taken the place that ABBA once held (especially since the revival of her own career with 2000’s Light Years CD). Someone of Adam/Felicia’s age is more likely to be a life-long Kylie devotee than an ABBA fan.
So Bernadette’s wish in the movie for “no more fucking ABBA” has, in the stage version, finally come true!