Culture-watch: Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story
After its London premiere, Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story is currently on tour around the UK.
If you’re not going to be able to get to a performance in person, there will also be live-stream performance on 1 April – this will then be available for online viewing until the end of April.
Combining drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry and a lot of queer joy – this unique celebration of the people’s princess is very funny – irreverent and factually questionable, but very funny.
The story is told by Diana, speaking from heaven, as she recounts the highs and lows of becoming the beloved fashion icon that she knows she is.
The show is created by Linus Karp – he first hit our radar with his production of Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve Fucked, and he’s also created a piece of theatre around the movie musical of Cats.
“Even 25 years after her death Diana is a cultural icon, an era defining star and a social media meme Queen…” explains Linus Karp. “Her legacy outlives her amazing achievements and even the truth, as she’s become as much myth as celebrity. Toying with multiple performance forms as well as the truth itself, we have created a ridiculous celebration of her – as unique as Diana herself.”
This is pretty much a one-man show, with Karp playing the role of Diana. It is kind of uncanny how perfectly Karp embodies the most recognisable elements of Diana’s public persona. He even serves cunt in the revenge dress. It’s an affectionate but irreverent portrayal.
But Karp isn’t alone on stage – other members of the royal family appear via video, voiceover, giant dolls, and cardboard cutouts.
Plus, there’s audience participation. Creating a production that’s dependent on audience participation is a high-risk strategy, but it’s an intimate show and – on the night I saw it – it worked seamlessly. Everyone stepped up to the plate to fully participate – it felt like the audience was invested in ensuring that the show was a success.
If you loved The Crown on Netflix, then maybe this isn’t for you – or maybe it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for. Karp is taking characters and events that we know a bit about and then just making stuff up to tell a more entertaining story.
Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story is stupid-funny and a very entertaining and engaging piece of theatre.
See tour dates and streaming details for Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story