Charlie's Aunt Stars In A Princess Undone

A Princess Undone, Park Theatre ★★★☆☆

By Johnny Fox Last edited 10 months ago

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Charlie's Aunt Stars In A Princess Undone A Princess Undone, Park Theatre 3
Photo: Simon Anand

Before Meghan, before Kate's bump, Pippa's rump, Fergie's indiscretions or the tabloid gift-that-keeps-on-giving AKA Diana, the press devoured Princess Margaret as a constantly watchable icon of fashion, self-indulgence and vigorous impropriety.

While she maintained a home and louche lifestyle in the Caribbean, one of her followers was ex-con, ex-actor, possible murderer and hard drinker John Bindon. His party trick was to thread five half-pint beer mugs onto his todger and go 'look, no hands'.

Bashing them together thirty years on, in 1993 when Charles and Diana have separated and Margaret is sorting through the Queen Mother's personal papers, is a random act of theatre. It works best if you're already pretty familiar with some source material, such as Craig Brown's enjoyably salacious 2017 book Ma'am Darling.

For anyone else, this could be a Yorkshire pudding of a play. Crisp round the edges, with some smart putdowns and occasionally crackling jokes from HRH, but a soggy centre with two eggy attempts at blackmail where it's just not clear what she is alleged to have done.

There may have been more to the Queen's sister than a put-down stare, chain smoking and a fondness for Famous Grouse Scotch. However, despite Felicity Dean's fine glint-in-the-eye portrayal of both the camp and the stern Princess, there are no fresh insights in Richard Stirling's script.

A Princess Undone, Park Theatre, Wells Terrace, N4, £18. [Tuesday-Saturday] until 17 March

Last Updated 28 February 2018