AS summer fades to grey school uniforms, here is some Aussie Outback colour to put rouge into your cheeks.

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert is Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott's spin-off musical from Elliott's cult 1994 film The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, which retains the story and pumps up the disco dancefloor fillers to more than 20.

You may have seen the touring production that visited the Grand Opera House with Hear'Say's Noel Sullivan, Aussie Richard Grieve and Graham Weaver leading the cast in 2013. If so, give this new made-in-York production a whirl too.

It may not have the big-budget set design and billowing silk of the professional show, but York Stage Musicals have spent a four-figure sum on the exotic costumes, director Nik Briggs rightly judging that if you can't have one, you most definitely need the other. So, in this "c*ck in a frock on a rock" show, two out of three ain't bad, even if the rock is absent.

Matching the film’s fearless humanity, frank, fruity humour and feathered finery, the musical builds the story around a series of set-pieces, emotional scenes and drag-costume changes galore. Momentum is established through a song-and-dance opening with the Three Divas (Jacqueline Bell, Lauren Sheriston and Joanne Theaker) glitzing it up in It’s Raining Men and Richard Barker's lean and leggy Miss Understanding sending up Tina Turner's gyrations in What’s Love Got To Do With It?.

The story then makes its entry as Joe Wawrzyniak's Sydney drag queen Tick/Mitzi Mitosis is phoned by his estranged but cordial wife Marion (Jessica Hardcastle) from Alice Springs, telling him he must put on a show there and, crucially, see Benji (Daniel Jackson/Oliver Lawery/Louie Theaker), the son he has always found excuses not to meet in more than six years. Wawrzyniak's rendition of I Say A Little Prayer is an early highlight.

Tick must assemble an act pronto, calling on the seen-it-all-before transsexual Bernadette (experienced hand Alex Weatherhill in his YSM debut) and the reckless, pleasure-seeking, provocative young Adam/ Felicia Jollygoodfellow (Jacob Husband); sparring partners of old who still vie for the last word.

Across the Aussie Outback desert they go on board Priscilla the ageing bus, engaging in catty verbal jousts and encountering Louise Leaf's amusingly course Shirley in a grubby bar room. On first night, there could be more zip and zest all round at this point – just go for it, like Jessica Douglas's band does! – but the trio's version of True Colours is a delight.

The storylines gradually come to the surface: Weatherhill's Bernadette (gentler than Terence Stamp in the film but still with a waspish sting to the tongue) bonding with mechanic Bob (Craig Kirby), Tick bonding with his son, and Adam chancing his arm too far.

The second-half set-pieces in AJ Powell's choreography achieve a bigger impact too: especially Thai bride Cynthia (Katie Glover) and her ping-pong ball act and Wawrzyniak's fabulous cake-in-the-rain routine in MacArthur Park. Husband blossoms in his most prominent YSM role to date; Weatherhill turns out to be the show's rock.

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical, York Stage Musicals, Grand Opera House, York, until September 16. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at