Priscilla Presley is clearly best known for being the ex-wife of Elvis, but she’s also a consummate businesswoman and a successful actress.
She starred as Jenna Wade in the soap opera Dallas which was a smash hit around the world, and was critically acclaimed for her comedy performances in the Naked Gun film series.
Following the death of Elvis, Priscilla was named as an executor of his estate and turned it into a multi million pound business.
And for several years now she has found a new passion - British pantos. She first tried her hand as a baddie, twice playing the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for First Family productions in Wimbledon and Manchester. And now she’s a goodie, playing the Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin at Milton Keynes Theatre, which opens on Friday December 4 and runs through to Sunday January 10.
In an exclusive interview during rehearsals Priscilla told me how she got involved in this very British tradition.
“I had a long talk with Kevin Wood from First Family and he asked me if I wanted to be part of a panto, and I didn’t know what it was so he explained it to me, and he said it was theatre obviously and there was audience interaction. After an hour and a half he talked me into it and I thought okay, I love challenges, I thought I’d like to try it.
“But when I came here and asked to see the theatre my nerves came on really to a point where I was shaking because the theatre in Wimbledon was an 800 seat theatre and I was thinking in my mind it would be about a 250 seat theatre. I started getting the shakes, oh my gosh I didn’t know if I could do this. But I loved it, I really enjoyed it and in the end I was really happy that I had done it.”
Priscilla says its fun to be a goodie this time around and admits she will fly, dance and sing a little. She says her character is a little bit flirtateous, mysterious and grants wishes, and she is very much looking forward to working with Wayne Sleep who plays Genie of the Ring and with whom she shares a few scenes.
Her children, daughter Lisa Marie and son Navarone, hope to come over and see her perform, although her parents, now in their 90s are unable to come as it is difficult for them to travel now.
She has four grandchildren and said: “I sent the book of Aladdin to my grandchildren and they can’t wait to come.”
Priscilla says the show is a great treat for all families. “It’s so colourful, so beautiful, the costumes are great. I love First Family productions, they just go all out. It’s the holidays and people want relief and to have fun, so I hope they will experience that when they come.”
For full details of evening and matinee performance dates and times, and all ticket prices go to www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes