Review by Tatum Stafford
Chaos, awkwardness, and serving c*nt – that’s pretty much all the context you need if you’re planning to catch ‘Diana: An Untold and Untrue Story’ at Fringe this year.
The brainchild of Linus Karp and his company Awkward Productions, this show blends common knowledge about the people’s Princess and plenty of untrue occurrences that make it a very wild ride.
As we were ushered into the venue, people around us were given printed cards and verbal instructions on how to participate, when cues were given. This was the beginning of the slickest audience participation I’ve ever seen in a show. Without giving too much away, at certain points in the story, the giant screen onstage would invite these ‘characters’ up onstage out of the audience; characters including Diana’s mum and dad, her gay fans, and even a landmine. It was a fantastic way to get the energy of the room going, and everyone who got up onstage had a great time and was rewarded with plenty of applause.
Linus as Diana was hilariously incredible. His accent and inflections were spot-on, and I thoroughly enjoyed the multiple costume changes throughout, giving nods to some of Diana’s most iconic outfits in pop culture. Linus was accompanied by Geri Allen playing Queen Elizabeth II on screen (and consistently reminding us of this character’s name, which was very very funny), and co-director Joseph Martin, who manoeuvred props, assisted with the audience interaction components, and even ‘played’ Camilla, who was embodied in a floppy life-sized puppet with a devilish voiceover.
This show doesn’t take itself seriously for even a moment, and some of its funniest moments were its most spontaneous – for example, an audience member playing a corgi who was tasked with chasing Diana out of the palace, or another audience member not seeing their line on screen and Linus pointing to the screen to jolt them into action, much to the audience’s delight.
In terms of the storyline, the clue is in the title – Diana enthusiasts will rejoice in this revisited version of her story, but I won't spoil it here...you'll have to see it for yourself.
If you’re looking for a healthy dose of fun and frivolity this Fringe season, I’d highly recommend buying a ticket to this show. It has been deservedly selling out, so don’t dilly dally!