#Tweetingit: Princess Diana. Freddie Mercury. Kenny Everett. Drag. Drugs. A fabulous gay bar – what more do you want? 5*
Yep, you heard right…
‘Royal Vauxhall’ tells the alleged tale of Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett and Princess Diana and their wild night out at one of London’s legendary gay venues, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.Twenty years after her untimely demise and based on real accounts, Royal Vauxhall commemorates Diana’s death with a insightful play on a right royal night out.
Following a successful run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, the musical begins with a short history of the 1980’s: Thatcher and a new drug called ‘MDMA’. We’re quickly introduced to three friends with something in common: the need to evade the public eye. Freddie, played by Desmond O’Connor, is coming to terms with his recent HIV diagnosis. Kenny, played by the hilarious Joe Morrow, is worried that his ex-wife’s autobiography will ‘out’ him as a homosexual, while Diana, played beautifully by Carrie Marx, is taking refuge away from the isolating walls of the palace and pressuring paparazzi.
United in their isolation for numerous reasons, the friends decide to paint the town red. To avoid being seen, the group come up with a plan to disguise Diana in drag. In comes one of the many songs throughout the play, ‘Making a man out of Diana’. This was one of, if not, the stand out moment of the show for its wit and raucous delivery of the song.
Making full use of the area, the characters dart in and amongst the audience throughout the show, making us feel as if we were part of their wild night out. Particular props go to Carrie Marx and her ability to capture Diana and her innocent persona brilliantly.
If you have a wicked and naughty sense of humour, then you’ll absolutely love this play.
Produced by Dysphoria Arts, the play tours until October 5, 2017.
Reviewer: Amy Penn