Since Hear’Say, the archetypal manufactured pop group, split in 2002, the Welsh-born singer and actor Noel O’Sullivan has been working in various stage performances, most recently the role of Galileo in Queen-based musical We Will Rock You.
“I departed We Will Rock You at the end of last year, and auditioned for Priscilla shortly after.
“I’ve been working as part of this production for the past three months, and Priscilla has to be my favourite production.”
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert is the adventure of three friends who take a bus across Australia searching for love and friendship.
Noel was cast alongside Aussie megastar Jason Donovan during the UK 2013 tour, for the part of drag queen Mitzi Mitosis the main character.
“Jason and I were cast to play the leading ‘lady’ and we’ve been doing alternate weeks since the start. It’s a full-on role, constantly challenging and non-stop on and off stage. “It’s like a marathon really, you keep going and going and you don’t get a chance to stop until you’re knackered. The hardest challenge has to be getting your stamina up for eight shows a week. “People may see it as all glitz and glamour, but we do eight shows then on the Sunday move to the next town, it’s relentless.”
The musical tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual who contract to perform a show in the remote Australian town of Alice Springs.
“It’s a high energy feel good show with amazing songs and stunning costumes. Dressing up in drag was strange to begin with, but once you’ve worn the costume a couple of times it becomes second nature!”
The Australian musical boasts a parade of dancefloor favourites including I Will Survive, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Hot Stuff, It’s Raining Men and Boogie Wonderland. MacArthur Park is my favourite song, and possibly the most bonkers thing I’ve ever done on stage. You have to see it!”
Noel is currently working on a solo album and has recently moved from home town Cardiff to London. I miss Cardiff, but I love being in Lancashire at the moment because it’s lovely to be back by the sea.”
He was subject of a running joke in hit BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey with Ruth Jones’ ‘Nessa’ giving her son Neil, the middle name Noel. He even made several bizarre cameo appearances.
He says: “Gavin & Stacey was a funny moment in my career: you just have to look at it and smile. Everything Welsh has been mentioned in that show, and to be considered part of the collective was brilliant.”
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert will continue showing at the Blackpool Opera House until Saturday.
He says: “After we finish in Blackpool, we are touring to Eastbourne then to Aberdeen.
“ I’m really enjoying being back on tour, it’s such a great production and the hours we have put in can easily be seen through the audience. I love being in shows that leave people with smiles on their faces, and I prefer life nowadays in musicals than when I was in Hear’Say.”
He jokingly says: “For starters, I get to sing for a living!” The performances will start at 7.30pm tonight, Friday at 5pm & 8.15pm and Saturday at 2.30pm & 7.30pm.
Ticket prices start from £15-£35, and to see Noel in action visit www.priscillathemusical.com or call the Blackpool Box Office on 0844 856 1111.