A new musical based on the life of the late Princess Diana is coming to Netflix, after plans for it to arrive on New York’s Broadway this year were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Aptly named Diana, the musical is being described by its creators as a story of the woman who ‘rocked the Royals’ and ‘chose to be fearless, and as a result became timeless.’
In light of the changes to theatres around the world, ‘the show will be filmed in the empty Broadway theater where it had been playing in previews, and still plans to open in May 2021,’ the New York Times reports – good news for those of us who might not have been able to afford a plane ticket to the US to see it live.
Written by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (the team behind Memphis), Diana sees actress Jeanna de Waal (who Broadway fans may recognise from American Idiot and Kinky Boots) take the lead role as the Princess of Wales. The rest of the cast consists of of Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II.
— DIANA: A New Musical (@DianaOnBroadway) August 12, 2020
‘We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theater lovers everywhere,’ lead producers, Beth Williams, Frank Marshall and the Araca Group said in a joint statement. ‘Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.’
So, what can we expect to see when the Princess Diana musical hits our screens in early 2021? ‘It’s 1981 and the world is ready for a royal wedding — but is the 20-year-old bride ready for what comes after?’ the synopsis asks.
‘Following her fairytale union, Princess Diana faces a distant husband, an unmovable monarchy and constant media scrutiny. But her unabashed honesty, modern perspective and gentle compassion galvanize a nation, even as it threatens the royal family’s hold on England.’
Diana features music by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, who won two Tony Awards for his stage show Memphis in 2010.
The Broadway debut won’t be the first live launch of the musical, as the original ran at California’s La Jolla Playhouse for the 2018–19 season, starring the same cast.
At the time, critics at The Hollywood Reporter said that the musical ‘seems to have many of the pieces needed for a hit.’ So we’ve definitely got high hopes for the Netflix version!