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Review: A Princess Undone at Cambridge Arts Theatre

By Gemma Gardner

A Princess Undone at Cambridge Arts Theatre
A Princess Undone at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Stephanie Beacham's performance gave an insight into the two, very different, sides of the Princess and had the audience hooked from the outset.

The Dynasty star’s portrayal of the witty, charming, provocative, but ultimately lonely Princess Margaret drew laughter, gasps and empathy from an almost sold-out Cambridge Arts Theatre audience on Wednesday.

The play, by Richard Stirling, is set one night in 1993 when Margaret is throwing out old letters that would have been embarrassing had they been discovered.

“While the royal family is at Balmoral, she removes several bags of correspondence from the Queen Mother’s home, including potentially sensational letters from Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.

“She means to burn them all. But there are other papers. Some of them relate to Margaret herself, and a scandal as dangerous as anything since. ”

Stephanie Beacham mastered the belligerent, and sometimes crude princess, with her mannerisms and movements a nod to the Royal family we recognise today.

With her performance the audience was given an insight into the two, very different, sides of the Princess; fiercely loyal to her family and at the same time, sassy and independent.

The play also features actors Gary Webster and Harry Livingston as William Tallon and Matthew Bates respectively, but it was Jason Merrells, who plays John Bindon, a gangster who became infamous when he befriended Margaret, who really caught the attention of the audience.

Merrells’ portrayal of the sinister yet alluring Bindon was captivating – the interaction between Merrells and Beacham was particularly impressive, with a scene in the second act drawing gasps from the audience.

The colourful language and stinging remarks about the Royal family, may put staunch Royalists off this performance but for everyone else this show is definately one to watch so grab a ticket while you can.

>>A Princess Undone is showing at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday. To book visit, cambridgeartstheatre.com.


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