- Charing Cross Theatre, London, 9 January – 14 February 2015
- Author: Jon Conway
- Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (inc 20min interval)
- Website: charingcrosstheatre.co.uk
Truth, Lies, Diana is a hugely controversial play, which will certainly polarise any audience. The play in itself is one which I find lacking in terms of authentic facts to back up its premise, one which suggests Diana was murdered by the establishment and furthermore Prince Harry was the son of James Hewitt. The major problem I found was the one-sided presentation of the facts, and inclusions of third-party hearsay and suggestions that many conspiracy debunkers have already proven as without solid foundation. Yes there were points brought up in the play that warranted debate, however many of which lacked substance or real facts that could stand up in a court to back them up.
At times I found my eyes rolling back into my head, especially at suggestions that were made as to who was the father of Prince Harry. Displaying naked images on a screen of Harry and James Hewitt prove to be tasteless and certainly did not add to the play, nor prove any point the author was attempting to make at this stage. Many debunkers have non-sensed the idea, and photos of Harry and a young Prince Charles, and even of those of Harry alongside a young prince Philip much more alike than those of Hewitt.
Furthermore a tasteless caricature depiction of the Queen drew some groans as she was played by a man and particularly badly dressed to draw sniggers from a small group within the audience who were clearly anti-royal. None of the other characters in the play were ridiculed in this way, so it seemed hugely unfair and pointless to attack HRM in this way. This attack clearly came from the viewpoint of a royal hater, and had no place in an established British theatre.
Is the play worth seeing? it depends on who you ask; whilst its my own opinion, I personally felt uncomfortable throughout at the lack of balance from the blinkered viewpoint of an out-and-out conspiracy conspiracy theorist, who portrayed unsubstantiated hearsay as fact. I was certainly not entertained, and came out feeling astonished at what I’d seen. In saying that, one of the group I was chatting to in the bar afterwards was entertained, but unsurprisingly he has always been anti-monarchy. Its a shame that this play didn’t provide more balance, and a shame that the writer created this hugely exploitative play at the expense of those he knew would not be able to give their own opinion or voice to what really happened. Had the author gone to the smallest amount of trouble to outline the facts of the other viewpoint in order to counter those with his own, and not gone out of its way to form baseless attacks on members of the Royal family that even the author states had no part in Diana’s death, then the play may have been attractive to a much wider audience.
Tasteless & Exploitative
A tasteless, exploitative, biased play, putting people on trial with no chance to answer. The stage is not a place for kangaroo courts.