Isaac Pawson loves Priscilla Queen of the Desert so much so that he’s landed a starring role in it twice. Taranaki Community News caught up with him to find out why this show is so captivating.
Hi Isaac! It’s not long until Priscilla opens! How are you feeling?
I’m feeling excited for New Plymouth to see this fabulous show! It’s bold, colourful and uplifting and there’s something for everyone to take away from it. I’m excited to see what we can offer people with this show!
This isn’t your first Priscilla rodeo is it?
No, I feel privileged that this is my second time performing this role. My first time was in Christchurch in 2017 and I’m so happy to be doing it again. The show is so much fun to be a part of in any capacity, but to get to play one of the leads again is a real blessing.
I have such fond memories of our Christchurch production and to get to experience all the glitz and glam and heart of this show is fantastic!
How are finding Taranaki?
It’s beautiful. I had never come to this part of the country before but I’m so glad that I get to! I love walking so staying somewhere near the water has been lovely. I climbed Mt Paritutu last week and was astonished by the view. Growing up in Christchurch and having lived in Auckland, it feels very small but I’m enjoying that aspect – nothing feels too far away!
You have a pretty extensive theatre background. Can you tell us about that?
Since graduating NASDA I have been working up and down the country performing in shows. Musical theatre wasn’t my first passion before studying, but since leaving it’s been something I’m lucky to have done a lot of professionally, mostly in Christchurch, and my love for it has only grown.
This will be my fifth show directed by Stephen Robertson too, so I’m excited to be working with him again. He has such a strong vision and his experience is so extensive that you know you’re in good hands!
Do you relate to your Priscilla character Tick in any way?
Tick and I have similarities. I think we are both relatively private. Although I’m a performer, I am definitely quite introverted and don’t always feel confident around people. He certainly struggles to feel confident in showing people exactly who is and I think that’s something we can all relate to. We are also both sensitive beings who treasure friendship and family.
Had you heard anything about New Plymouth Operatic before you agreed to do Priscilla up here?
I was aware that Akina Edmonds played the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the NPOS production of Sister Act. I remember seeing some production photos of that show and thinking how great it looked! I’m excited to be able to look back at this show with the same awe.
If you could play any character in any show on Broadway, who would you pick?
I think playing Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen would be a real challenge, but I would love to sing those songs – they’re beautiful and so well written!
If you were a drag queen, what would your name and your signature saying be?
I’m a stickler for puns so I would have to be Tess Tosterone and I guess my saying would have to be “Grab life by the tuck!”
Why should people come along to Priscilla?
Firstly, because it’s fun! You’ll definitely leave the theatre humming the tunes to some of everyone’s favourite disco classics. You’ll be amazed by the costumes – they’re out of this world, and you’ll no doubt laugh at the quick-witted humour.
Also, the show is challenging. It challenges people’s views on those who are different. It encourages acceptance and shares the perspective of three characters who are brave enough to be their authentic selves – and it celebrates that!
So come along and have a good time! Anyone and everyone can enjoy what this show has to offer.