Your Am Dram Star of the Week is Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society’s Stephen Oliver-Davies from Telford
Our Am Dram Star this week has been working exceptionally hard at performing in heels since he was cast as Tick in Shrewsbury Amateur Operatic Society’s forthcoming production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Stephen Oliver-Davies from Telford has been treading the boards since childhood and admits that musical theatre is a huge passion of his.
“I was eight when I first started to perform,” says Stephen. “I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Oakengates Theatre and haven’t stopped acting since.”
This is Stephen’s first show with SAOS. “They have an excellent reputation for being a friendly society that puts on top notch productions, so when I heard they were staging Priscilla, I knew I had to be part of it.” he says. “I love the show and consider myself very lucky to have been cast in a principal role.”
The character Tick is one of three drag queens who set out on an adventure across the Australian desert in order to visit Tick’s ex-wife and son. So what attracted Stephen to the role?
“I feel an affinity with Tick,” says Stephen. “He is a sensitive soul like me. He is a lovely character to play as he has a full range of emotions and that’s always interesting for an actor.”
He continues: “When I first read the script I had a good idea of how I should play him, but during rehearsals I have really tried to get inside Tick’s head. Our Director Andy has been generous enough to let me try different things and I really feel I know Tick now.”
Stephen has been rehearsing in heels. “I can now walk, dance and run in them!” he laughs. “I am a big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race which has given me a lot of inside knowledge.”
Although the majority of Priscilla is upbeat, high energy and rather camp, there are some emotional moments in the show too. Stephen says: “I particularly love singing the duet You Were Always on my Mind/I Say A Little Prayer with Isaac and James who are playing my son Benji on alternative performances. The scenes we have together are very touching.”
Audiences can expect nothing less than a massive spectacle from Priscilla, with more than 20 dancefloor classics, hilarious, outrageous comedy and fabulous costumes, never mind the bus.
But there is another side to the star of the show who says his dream role would be Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.
l Priscilla Queen of the Desert is on at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury from October 3-6. Visit www.theatresevern.co.uk or call 01743 281281 for tickets.