It's not that the colourfully-costumed ensemble cast are notably less talented, nor that the antipodean leads in this raucous road trip aren't reprising previously played roles. It's just that the production values are so glaringly inferior that comparisons are not so much odious as odorous.
The show reeks of a cut-price experience, somewhat galling when ticket prices are increasingly comparable to down south. Divas who hung out celestially near Soho now move props and groan as they turn Priscilla – the bus – via her turntable.
Jason Donovan was praised in the 2009 original London cast but now as troubled Tick (Mitzi) he seems to phone in his performance – and on Monday night it was over a bad line.
The opening night was also beset by sound and lighting problems, but a backstage fire alarm during the second half (caused by stage smoke) was the technical nightmare that actually brought the safety curtain down and the show to a halt for a short while.
Aussie soap survivor Richard Grieve gave a well-rounded performance as Bernadette. With most of the killer lines in the show, only his singing of Cyndi Lauper's True Colours detracted from his portrayal of the transsexual character, stunningly played by Terence Stamp in the 1994 original movie version.
Graham Weaver as Adam (Felicia) put in a fine physical performance during musical numbers such as Hot Stuff but his acting never captured the complexity of his character, and the subtleties and pathos of the drama were lost to the cause of belting out exuberant camp classics.