★★★★

Heading to The King’s Head Theatre London to catch ‘Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story’ made for a fantastic night of entertainment, with its quirky fusion of comedy, theatre, and storytelling framing Princess Diana’s tale like never before. This show is unlike anything else playing in London at the moment, blending frivolous charm with irreverent humour to spotlight the life of the iconic people’s princess in an unforgettable 75-minute show.

I watched the show with my friend, Eleanor – neither of us were sure what to expect going in, but having read all of the excellent reviews from its time at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, we had high hopes and we weren’t disappointed. The show has a narrative that’s both bold and outrageous. The play strikes a perfect balance, ensuring the audience feels every bit of the satirical yet compassionate portrayal of Diana’s story, I know the show will spark conversation amongst theatre lovers and royal aficionados.

Linus Karp brought ‘Lady Di’ to life in a way that was both satirical and affectionate. Linus cycled through Diana’s iconic outfits with an awkward grace that had us all chuckling yet admiring the surreal accuracy. The infamous revenge dress scene was a showstopper, perfectly capturing the essence of Diana’s public persona with a mix of defiance and vulnerability.

Joseph Martin, as the puppeteer for Camilla Parker Bowles, added a unique layer to the performance. The monstrous Camilla puppet loomed over the stage, its exaggerated features mirroring the hyperbolic nature of the show. This, coupled with a cardboard cut-out of Prince Charles, manipulated with comedic precision by Linus, brought an element of farce that underscored the show’s irreverent tone. The dynamic between the characters was hilariously over-the-top, yet it cleverly commented on the public’s perception of the royal relationships. Linus Karp and Joseph Martin are two of theatre’s brightest talents and they’re lovely people too. 

Linus Karp in Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story. Photo by Dave Bird.

The audience interaction was another highlight. We weren’t just spectators; some of us were drafted to play roles like the ‘Diana’s Mum and Dad’ or even nannies to Prince’s William and Harry. This engagement not only broke the fourth wall but also pulled us deeper into the playful absurdity of the production. Each audience member-turned-actor brought a fresh spontaneity, which, when paired with the cast’s improvisational skills, made the performance feel unique and electric. It was these moments of unscripted humour and collective participation that truly made the show a memorable night out at the theatre.

The engagement didn’t stop at role-playing. During the paparazzi scene, we were encouraged to whip out our phones and snap away, immersing ourselves in the chaotic energy of celebrity culture. This not only made us feel like part of the show but also highlighted the intrusive nature of media, cleverly woven into our interactive experience.

Linus Karp in Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story. Photo by Dave Bird.

The clever use of audience participation, coupled with sharp cultural commentary, makes for a must-see unforgettable theatrical exploration that both challenges and entertains. The show is a love letter to the Queer community and the peoples princess.

This show does more than recount tales of the past; it invites us to reflect on the complexities of celebrity, media scrutiny, and our collective memory of one of the most iconic figures in modern history. Through laughter and satire, ‘Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story; offers a unique commentary on how stories are told and remembered, ultimately reminding us of the power of narrative and the enduring legacy of Diana’s spirit. For those looking for a great night out at the theatre, book your tickets now for a performance running until 5th May 2024.