A Princess Diana Broadway musical is upon us, and Queen Elizabeth may want to steer clear. Diana: A True Musical Story was originally meant to head to Broadway but production was halted due to the ongoing pandemic, so the historical musical has found a new home on Netflix.
The musical, directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, was penned by Memphis collaborators Joe DiPietro and David Bryan and tells the story of the people's princess. Diana is set in 1981, the year that the late royal married Prince Charles. The majority of the musical will focus on Diana in her twenties and explore her relationship with the Prince of Wales, his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana's growing relationship with the press and paparazzi.
"We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share our show with theatre lovers everywhere," Diana's producers said in a joint statement, per People. "Though there is no substitute for the live theatre, we are honoured to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide."
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The musical features actress Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Erin Davie as Camilla, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles and Tony Award winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth.
Prince William and Prince Harry do not appear in the musical, other than in scenes involving their birth. Surprisingly, the Queen is one of the main characters in the play, alongside Charles, Diana and Camilla, with the occasional cameo from James Hewitt.
Featuring 23 original songs – choice titles include ‘F-ck You Dress’ and ‘Here Comes James Hewitt’ – the musical is a no holds barred look at the life of the Princess of Wales, from timid teenager to virginal bride, affairs and then her tragic death.
However, many have taken issue with the musical since it was first announced. “It is in such bad taste that it’s best ignored,” Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine said. The Telegraph’s Luciana Bellini wrote that it is “just so silly and tongue-in-cheek that it can’t be taken seriously.”
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This also isn't the only Princess Diana-based film we have to look forward to. Back in June it was announced that Kristen Stewart is set to star as Lady Di in the new Pablo Larraín–directed drama, Spencer. Larraín was also at the helm of Jackie, the 2016 Jackie Kennedy biopic starring Natalie Portman.
According to Deadline, this film “covers a critical weekend in the early ’90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen." The drama will unfold over the course of three days “in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor” and will not wade into Princess Diana’s death in 1997. Instead, Spencer will focus more on her relationship with Prince Charles and her sons.