An upcoming stage presentation of Princess Diana’s life is set to premiere on Netflix in 2021, ahead of its Broadway release. But Diana: A New Musical might spark outrage from royal fans because of its controversial content.
Diana: A New Musical was originally going to premiere on stage in March. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Broadway indefinitely, affecting all of the shows scheduled for this year.
To sustain interest, producers of the musical worked out a deal with Netflix to stream the show on its platform early next year. However, reports cited that the stage show is filled with vulgar dialogues and bed scenes, especially involving the character of Princess Diana and her love James Hewitt.
Shock and awe during the preview
Select theater-goers and critics were able to preview Diana: A New Musical just before the pandemic lockdown. One scene implied Princess Diana’s self-harm after Prince Charles expressed his disappointment that she gave him another son — Prince Harry.
There was also another scene where Queen Elizabeth referred to Princess Diana as a “tart” for her affair with Hewitt. Many scenes between Diana and her lover were also shockingly suggestive.
The play stars British actress Jeanna De Waal as Princess Diana, Roe Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Judith Kaye as Queen Elizabeth. The creative team behind the show includes David Bryan, Joe DiPietro, Kelly Devine and Christopher Ashley.
The story is based on materials of Princess Diana’s interviews, especially about her failed marriage to Prince Charles. A former bodyguard of the Princess of Wales, however, is asking Prince Harry to stop Netflix from airing the show next year.
Untruths, scandal and sex
Ken Wharfe said that he was not able to preview the show but if critics are correct then Diana: A New Musical is filled with “untruths, scandal and sex.” The bodyguard said that Prince Harry should talk to the streaming platform to pull out this show from their schedule, regardless if the Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, recently landed a lucrative Netflix deal.
The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter brands the Broadway show as “tacky” but it should not be taken seriously. He admits, however, that he has not seen the musical.
“It’s quite interesting the LA Times said the royal purists will be upset by it – won’t be able to stomach it,” Arbiter said. “But [they added] at the end of the day it’s tongue in cheek, bordering on silliness.”
Princess Diana’s biographer, Andrew Morton, was at the preview and said that it’s done well and “very sophisticated.” He thinks that Netflix viewers will love Diana: A New Musical once it’s ready to stream on the platform.
Image used courtesy of Diana: A True Musical Story/YouTube