Move over Hamilton! A new musical about Diana, Princess of Wales is in production, with auditions taking place and the rehearsal process due to start shortly. The piece of theatre, aptly titled Diana, will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in California next February. Read on for everything you need to know about the new musical…
What is the Diana musical about?
Diana is set in 1981, the year that the late royal married Prince Charles. The majority of the musical will focus on Diana in her twenties, and explore her relationship with Prince Charles, his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana's relationship with the press. The synopsis on La Jolla Playhouse's website reads: "It's 1981 and the world is hungry for a royal wedding — but is the 20-year-old bride prepared for what comes after? Following her fairytale union, Princess Diana faces a distant husband, an unmovable monarchy and overwhelming media scrutiny. But her modern perspective and remarkable compassion galvanizes a nation, even as it threatens the royal family's hold on England."
Who is playing Diana?
Writer Joe DiPietro has hinted that the creative team are on the hunt for a fresh and young powerhouse. "Diana is a big role," Joe told Playbill. "And there's a lot of talented young people out there. We'll find someone." Auditions are currently underway, with rehearsals set to start soon.
When will the Diana musical premiere?
The musical will premiere on 19 February 2019 and run until 31 March 2019.
Where will the Diana musical premiere?
Shortly before her death in 1997, Diana was said to be considering a move to California, to start a new life with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry. It's particularly fitting, then, that the musical is being staged in the US state of California. It is being held at the Mandell Weiss Theatre, which houses La Jolla Playhouse events and is located on the campus of the University of California San Diego.
A look back at Princess Diana's last year...
How can I buy tickets to the Diana musical?
Pre-sale tickets were released in May but have now sold out. The next batch of tickets are available in July.
Who is directing the Diana musical?
Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley will direct the new musical, which is penned by Memphis collaborators Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, who is also a keyboardist for Bon Jovi. Christopher said in a statement: "One of the best things about La Jolla Playhouse is the way it serves as an artistic home to which amazing artists return again and again to develop their work. Among my favourite long-time collaborators are Joe DiPietro and David Bryan – their new musical brings to the stage one of the greatest cultural icons in modern history, and I can't wait to share it with Playhouse audiences next season." Various La Jolla Playhouse premieres have found success on Broadway, including Memphis, Jersey Boys, Bonnie and Clyde and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
The musical is set in 1981, the year of Charles and Diana's wedding
What do we know about the musical score?
David Bryan has previously told Playbill that they have written 23 original songs for the musical. "I gave them musical characters to differentiate: Diana is pop-rock, royalty is string quartet, we have paparazzi as punk guitars and we try to make all those roles live on top of each other," he said. One show-stopping song that takes place at the finale of Act One is A Pretty Girl in a Pretty Dress. The contemporary tune embodies what Diana went through during Charles' very public affair with his future bride, Camilla.
Will the Diana musical come to London?
It's not yet known whether there are plans to relocate the musical to London after its run in California, but judging by the success of La Jolla Playhouse premieres, including Memphis and Jersey Boys, which have all played on the West End, theatre fans are hoping it's a possibility.