The actress who is set to play Princess Diana in a new musical about the royal has been revealed. Rising star Jeanna de Waal has taken on the titular role in Diana; the production will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, California next year. Speaking in a teaser on the theatre's YouTube channel, Jeanna admitted she was "daunted" by the prospect, saying: "To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege.
"I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn't know about her and weren't aware of her journey leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world. She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her."
Rising star Jeanna de Waal has taken on the titular role
British actress Jeanna has trod the boards for various plays and musicals, including Kinky Boots, Wicked and American Idiot. Her other acting credits include the off-Broadway Carrie revival. Jeanna attended the Arts Educational School in Tring before studying acting at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, graduating in 2009.
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Diana the musical will premiere on 19 February 2019 and run until 31 March 2019. The script 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.
Diana's sweetest moments with her sons:
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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." 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.
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