Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Penny Clifford: Unforgettable Shows (01)


Monika: "Simone & Monique’s Playgirls Revue" is said to have been one of the most lavish and popular revues in the history of the Australian cabaret. What made it so special? 
Penny: We have had many amazing Trans shows in Australia starting with Les Girls but their budgets were limited. The Playgirls however had huge budgets and larger venues to work in so the quality of the shows were higher and more glamorous. Its was often called "The Rolls Royce Of Drag Shows".
Monika: I read that the show was famous for its costumes, comedy and exceptional music. Do you agree?
Penny: Yes, the 2 ladies that ran the show, Simone & Monique were way ahead with their concepts and design and the costumes, music and comedy was world class to say the least.

Success Show at Wrest Point Casino.

Monika: How did you get the job and how long were you working for the revue?
Penny: I was lucky enough to be asked to join the show in 1985 and I was beside myself with excitement, it was truly a dream come true to tour with such an award winning show. I stayed with the troupe for 5 years.
Monika: I guess that there were eight girls on stage. Could you name some of them? 
Penny: Yes there was a cast of 7 or 8, the cast did change on occasion. Some of the girls names were Monique St John, Stefanie Grey, Christie McNicol, Diane Grant, Valentine Turner, Stephanie Tuckwell and Jenna Stevens.

Finale at Darwin Casino.

Monika: Do you keep in touch with them?
Penny: Yes actually even after all these years I still keep in touch with all of the girls except one.
Monika: What will you always remember about the show?
Penny: The Glamour, The Touring, meeting people, the places I saw and stayed at, the fun, the comradeship from the girls, the life experience. In the 80’s for a group of Trans ladies to be so accepted and loved and for people to come to casinos to see us was truly an amazing life... We really were the 1st Priscillas!

All the photos: Courtesy of Penny Clifford.
© 2013 - Monika 

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