THE WINDSORS: ENDGAME
Written by George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore
Composer: Felix Hagan
Directed by Michael Fentiman
Prince of Wales Theatre – until 2 October
I approached George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore’s comedy with some trepidation: stage spin-offs of TV shows can be decidedly naff. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially after some of the dodgy reviews but I actually loved it. It reminded me a bit of Death Drop in that it is just out to give the audience a rollicking good time, to hell with coherence and indeed sanity. This it most assuredly does: the crowd I saw it with was screaming with laughter.
Maybe some shows just don’t need critical input (he says while reviewing it….go figure). This is about as subtle as being smacked around the head with several old copies of Tatler – the “joke” (not that one can even call it that) that stopped the show was Tracy Ann Oberman’s magnificently nasty Camilla telling Kara Tointon’s joyously vacuous Kate (who comes over all Ninja at the first sign of trouble) to fuck off when she opined that she missed Jamie Oliver’s restaurants – but it is a heck of a lot of knowing fun, which sees Fergie (Sophie-Louise Dann, absolutely hilarious and frequently filthy) working as Meghan and Harry’s cleaner in L.A. and habitually lacing their wheatgrass smoothies with Smirnoff, Andrew (a commendably non-sweaty Tim Wallers) discovered looking furtive in the front Stalls, and Matthew Cottle’s gormless Edward picking up all the spare roles on account of his theatrical experience (“I once worked for Andrew Lloyd Webber you know”).
I also loved Tom Durant-Pritchard’s weirdly hot himbo Harry and the genius comic pairing of Eliza Butterworth and Jenny Rainsford as a wonderfully clueless Beatrice and Eugenie so vowel-manglingly posh that it’s quite a challenge to work out what they’re actually saying half the time. Crystal Condie as Meghan is so accurate she borders on the uncanny, and Ciaràn Owens makes a lovable Prince William. Oberman’s Camilla is so good she deserves some sort of award, or possibly a restraining order. Harry Enfield as Prince Charles engineers one of the most bizarre standing ovations I’ve ever been part of, reasoning that since the cast are Royal, we in the audience should stand and bow TO THEM while they wave half heartedly.
Michael Fentiman’s surprisingly opulent production (Madeleine Girling’s set is gorgeous) resembles a panto with Tourettes. This is a ton of disrespectful fun, both for us and the cast, although I’d be fascinated to know what an ardent Royalist makes of it all. The Prince of Wales (the theatre that is, not the eccentric Royal) is being kept very warm while The Book Of Mormon is on hiatus. My face ached from smiling.