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Review: Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story (The Pleasance)

Netflix’s hit show The Crown has come under an increasing spotlight recently for supposed historical inaccuracy and mis-representation. Only one royal is safe in Linus Karps’ new show Diana: The Untrue and Untold Story, the people's princess.

Over a madcap hour of zany comedy, Karp reflects on how Diana came to join the royal family, and then hypothesizes on what would have occurred if Princess Diana didn’t die in 1997. Would she have appeared on Rupaul's drag race? Would she be an LGBTQI+ ally?

While dubbed as a one-man show, Karp enlists the audience throughout, taking on a plethora of roles from Diana’s parents to a landmine. A wide-palette of homemade props add to the shows DIY tool-box charm, but the piece de resistance - and I can’t quite believe I’m typing this - is a deranged life-sized sex doll of Camilla Parker Bowles (controlled by the wonderful co-director Joseph Martin), possessed with an unruly sex-mad Mr Blobby energy. It really is something to behold. Pre-recorded videos play throughout the performance too, a no-holds barred performance from Geri Allen of The Queen shows us, yet again, nothing is off the table. There’s also a wonderful cameo from Paddington Bear, but the less said about that the better.

Karp elegantly floats around the intimate stage throughout, holding the audience with great aplomb although, at times, the laughter from the Friday night crowd was so raucous some of Karp's snappy dialogue and audio from the pre-recorded messages was sadly lost. This may be down to a tech error however, as sound was only emitting from one speaker and as Karp's dialogue - much like Diana's - was short, sharp and witty, it was a shame to lose it.

Diana: The Untrue and Untold Story is bonkers. Utterly bonkers, but oh so hilarious. You can catch the show at The Pleasance London until the 26th November, or catch it on tour. Get your tickets here.

Photo by Dave Bird

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