More of a Disaster Than a Farce

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

More of a Disaster Than a Farce


Byline: NICHOLAS DE JONGH

THEATRE A Right Royal Farce King's Head Theatre, N1 Nicholas De Jongh ONLY people with an appetite for rank theatrical rubbish will want to gorge themselves on this relentlessly boring little farce by Toby Young and Lloyd Evans.

Dismiss all memories of that artful huffing and puffing in advance of the first night by publicists, who hinted the authors had put living royalty up for controversial mockery by making them fun figures in a sex romp. Actually A Right Royal Farce has all the shock-value of a pair of pubertal schoolboys caught fiddling with each other in the bike shed.

Hard upon the Queen's demise, Richard Keith's neither thick nor thuggish Prince Harry schemes like Shakespeare's Richard III, though without the laughs, to steal the throne from both his father and brother. After no end of plotting, of an unamusing and contrived sort, he comes unstuck.

Alex Bartram's amazingly lookalike, sympathetic William is restored to his rightful place as the farce, which ought to reach heights of climactic lunacy like the classic See How They Run at the Duchess, fizzles out. Few shows of such embarrassing, authorial ineptitude can have hit the London stage since the Blitz.

When it comes to embarrassment or bad taste, though, Young and Evans, who cocked several successful snooks at David Blunkett's sex life in last year's, far better Who's the Daddy, score a bull's-eye.

The authors depict William as a doped, unstable nuthouse candidate, who is dragged off to the funny farm after Harry has his own Australian girlfriend masquerade as Diana, speaking to her older son from Heaven. …

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