By day he wields a welding torch, creating sets for theatrical productions and corporate events. By night, Doug Cairns is currently immersed in the role of outrageous Sydney-based drag performer Adam, aka Felicia, as he prepares to star in the musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
“I work by myself a lot, so going to rehearsals is a great way to socialise and actually meet people!” he laughs.
“I think I’m perceived as quite a quiet, thoughtful person so I’m loving bringing out the over-the-top side of my personality!”
As Adam, Doug gets to wear some astonishingly creative and colourful costumes, alongside fellow performers Bryn Hughes who plays Tick and Ian Moseley as Bernadette.
“I’ve always loved dressing up,” says Doug. “I spent weeks preparing my Queen Victoria costume for my Halloween party at university!”
Doug graduated from Warwick last year with a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies. While there he designed the sets for musicals including Cabaret, Anything Goes and Little Shop Of Horrors, as well as playing lead roles. He also got his first taste of Priscilla.
“I was in the play Trainspotting, which is pretty dark and intense, while Priscilla was being staged in the theatre next door. When we came offstage we could hear the Priscilla band playing upbeat songs like I Will Survive and Colour My World.”
“I then watched the film, loved it, and when BATS announced they were doing the show I was encouraged to audition. I’m so glad I did!”
You can see Doug strutting his stuff in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Haymarket, Basingstoke from Wed 14 – Sat 17 and Wed 21 – Sat 24 November. Performances at 7.30pm with Saturday matinees at 2.30pm on 17 and 24 Nov.
All tickets for the opening night are £18.50. For the other performances: £23.50 (adults) £15 (16s and under) - with concessions for students, over-65s and groups. All prices include a booking fee. Buy tickets online.