The Queen and I

Previewed 9 June 1994, Opened 11 June 1994, Closed 27 August 1994 (in repertory) at the Royal Court Theatre
Previewed 13 October 1994, Opened 19 October 1994, Closed 28 January 1995 at the Vaudeville Theatre

Out of Joint present's Max Stafford-Clark stage production of Sue Townsend's novel The Queen and I in London

Following the election of a republican party, the Royal Family are sent to live on a Leicester council estate. Adapted for the stage by Sue Townsend from her own novel, the production transfers to the West End following successful runs in Leicester and at London's Royal Court Theatre. This is Out of Joint's first West End production.

The West End cast at the Vaudeville Theatre featured Paula Wilcox as 'The Queen' and David Horovitch as 'Prince Philip' with Gillian Hanna as 'The Queen Mother', Carole Hayman as 'Princess Margaret', Lizzy McInnerny as 'Princess Diana', Toby Salaman as 'The Prince of Wales' and Pearce Quigley as 'Prince William' along with Sophie Heyman and Wilbert Johnson. Directed by Max Stafford-Clark with designs by Fotini Dimou, lighting by Matthew O'Connor from original designs by Rick Fisher, sound by John A. Leonard, music by Mickey Gallagher and lyrics by Ian Dury. This production was originally staged in London at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1994 when it played in repertory with Jim Cartwright's play Road. The original cast featured Pam Ferris as 'The Queen', David Howey as 'Prince Philip', Gillian Hanna as 'The Queen Mother', Carole Hayman as 'Princess Margaret', Doon Mackichan as 'Princess Diana', Toby Salaman as 'The Prince of Wales', Pearce Quigley as 'Prince William', Amelia Bullmore and Paul J. Medford.

"While Sue Townsend's stage version retains the sour comedy of the Queen's adventure in the DSS office, where in despair she is forced to play the corgi card, there is now a top-heavy burden of snappy abuse springing from the marital squabbles and extra-marital preoccupations of Charles and Diana... But while there is some pleasant class comedy to be extracted as royals plunge deeper into Hell Close, the focus keeps slipping sideways into the marital muck-heap. Fatally, the structure suffers terminal damage from the role-doubling. Because Salaman also plays a neighbour we see too little of him as Charles; likewise the tearaway Prince William (Pearce Quigley) who must also come on as a policeman and a simpleton housewife. Any sour feelings at the end will not be at our country's downfall but at the play's failure to make a better dramatic impact from it." The Times

"Based on Sue Townsend's bestseller in which the Royal Family is transplanted, in a new republic, to a Leicester council estate, it is rather like an update of Barrie's The Admirable Crichton: it deals with the incapacity of the privileged in an alien environment. And it is at its satirical best when the royals are exposed to the same daily humiliations as their former subjects: Princess Di is asked intrusive personal questions by the DSS and the Queen is left tearfully clueless by a Council Tax form. As Lear says 'I have ta'en too little care of this' and Townsend's point is that if only the privileged had any notion of the grisly reality of life in Britain today then change might ensue. Admittedly the inversion-joke runs out of steam in the second act and Townsend leaves you unclear whether she thinks the monarchy should be abolished or drastically altered. But her anger at a Britain of impoverished opportunity comes through and she carefully distinguishes between the various royals." The Guardian

The Queen and I in London at the Vaudeville Theatre previewed from 13 October 1994, opened on 19 October 1994 and closed on 28 January 1995