If Diana: The Musical were a satire, it would be the genius of comedy. Disconcertingly, it is not
If you liked “Annabelle Dickson: The Musical” – the sequence of the satirical series High summer heights which tells the story of a high school student who died of a drug overdose – you’re going to love the new Netflix special. Diane: the musical is the all-sung and all-dance new tale of Princess Diana’s life, a story that hasn’t been told enough yet (we already had it pumped intravenously in the latest set of The crown, and a biopic starring Kristen Stewart is coming soon).
The show was slated to premiere on Broadway last year, but was prevented from doing so by the pandemic: It is a recorded version of the show with no audience, which aired on Netflix before it opened live. later this month. If it wasn’t enough that what is ultimately a tragedy – a tragedy that affects many people still very much alive and well – is still in a hurry for any remaining juice, this one is in the worst of all forms: musical theater. .
Yes Diana: the musical was satire, that would be the genius of comedy. There is a chorus of solemnly dressed jazz hands, who intervene with timid asides at every available opportunity. There is a moment of respite from the thick and sweet harmonies when Charles and Diana go to a concert to hear the Bach Cello suites – alas, Bach quickly turns into a sickening trifle of musical theater cliché, and the prelude in G major turns into a glam rock number. (Likewise, when the dialogue offers a few seconds of peace, you can bet someone will start another absurd belt soon.) There are some bizarre attempts to bring the story of Diana – loved as she is by the millennials – in 2021, but they manifest themselves as insignificant anachronisms. In this particular Bach mashup, Diana longs for Charles to “become funkadelic”, and when Diana dances ballet, the choir tells us that “every movement was on point”. Later, in a raw pre-divorce ballad, she intentionally intones, “I do well in marrying a Scorpio.
Who on this damn Earth is this fucking spectacle for? Uncynical tarot readers? Sassy bosses? Ironic hipsters? Bad words betray him: the Americans. Charles – the Prince of Wales! – says “fuck shit” and Diana says she is a “kindergarten” teacher, more than once, but in their most vicious and painful arguments, they only seem able to call each other “bloody sobs”. Is this how we are seen on the other side of the Atlantic? The Queen wears eyeliner, and Camilla Parker-Bowles inexplicably incorporated the word “hug” into her vocabulary. America is touted as the country where everyone can express their feelings – Diana would fit in perfectly, said the queen, ooh, burn! – yet Parker-Bowles is reduced to a quivering wreck in the “Sunday life” she would like to spend with haughty Charles, booing, whistling.
I started to cry with laughter when Diana cooed “Harry, my red haired son” in her cot, choked on my own tongue when the Queen transformed into some sort of widow Twankey Barbara Cartland ( Diana’s favorite romance author), and fell from my chair when an entire issue is dedicated to James Hewitt – who appears topless, riding a horse, the choir simply shouting his name in an impeccably fair song over and over again.
It seems incredible that one of these talented people manages to keep a straight face at all times during this two hour pantomime. How do they sing these lines with passion and fire? “Don’t act like a TART, Diana,” says Charles, as the paparazzi chorus hits us in the first 15 minutes with probably the worst line in theater history: getting a snap of Lady Di is “better than ‘a Guinness, better than a handjob’.
In High summer heights unfortunately we never attend the founding work of Mr. G, Tsunamarama – the story of the 2004 tsunami tragedy to the music of Bananarama. Yet I suspect Diana: the musical is tied. The real tragedies are reduced to crisp harmonies – the chorus truly sings “suicide attempts” and “bulimia” to create a background atmosphere, and among the final sequence after the car crash I grab the line, among the titles turned into song, “The Princess of Wales crosses a minefield in Angola”. I aged 17 in one hour and 57 minutes. If you, too, want to spend those precious seconds of your life watching something like Dick Van Dyke giving a speech. Daily mail item as pantomime lady, go ahead and tune in straight.
[See also: How Married At First Sight became the biggest reality franchise in the world]
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