Coronation Treat: Crown Dual Satirises Hit TV Show The Crown

The Crown Dual, Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★☆☆

By Mike C
Coronation Treat: Crown Dual Satirises Hit TV Show The Crown The Crown Dual, Wilton’s Music Hall 3
Photo: Geraint Lewis

Netflix behemoth The Crown is such a phenomenon, it’s a brave satirist who makes fun of it. But, undaunted, Daniel Clarkson just about pulls it off with a right royal romp that keeps up a more-than-stately pace over 70 minutes.

In lampooning such a huge hit, The Crown Dual gets in some pointed jabs at the TV industry, as well as entertainingly bitchy asides about The Crown’s Claire Foy, with wannabe star Beth (Rosie Holt) imagining her own audition for the leading role.

In this energetic duet, Holt and Brendan Murphy can’t be faulted for energy when filling the bare stage with an array of principal and supporting characters, largely through quick-change routines and inventive use of  sensible shoes, Naval accoutrements and cigarette holders. The mimicry is on point: Foy’s constant references to her 'vair heppy merriage' in the TV show provide much of the vowel-strangling fun here.

Photo: Geraint Lewis

If some of the gags are obvious — Philip refers to Charles outranking him, and Her Maj mishears this with hilarious results  — there’s plenty of more inventive, clever and even slightly sinister stuff to balance it out: whether it’s the corgis watching the royal couple ensuring the line of succession (ewww), or the Queen’s younger sister (Murphy in a fur stole and Jackie O sunglasses) screeching down the phone “It’s Margaret! Margaret! MAR-GAR-RET!” until the sound of the name becomes meaningless syllables as Elizabeth pretends not to recognise her.

At times, Crown Dual feels a bit lonely in Wilton’s echoing cavern— it’s really a fringe piece that originated at the King’s Head, so feels like it wants a more intimate venue, although the audience participation segments help cover this (warning: don’t sit in the front if you can’t read from a cue card).

Like the Royal Family and perhaps even The Crown itself, this is amusing, ephemeral stuff that’ll entertain and may even in its harmless eccentricity make you slightly proud to be British. And these days, that’s quite a thing.

The Crown Dual, Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, E1 8JB. Tickets £14.50-£26 until 13 September 2019.

Last Updated 05 September 2019