Canonbury’s Contemporary Comedy: The Queen Must Die
North Bridge House Canonbury’s third school production, THE QUEEN MUST DIE, had everyone rolling in the aisles!
Written by David Farr, this fast and furious comedy shows two groups of teenagers intent on vandalising a giant statue of Queen Elizabeth II. The girls want to get out of the humiliation of having to dance in the Jubilee Parade clad only in Union Jack dresses. The boys want to make an anti-monarchist statement. Neither knows about the other.
The two factions converge in a frenzy of politics, friendship, mistaken identity, Taylor Swift, Oliver Cromwell and young romance, until matters reach their riotous conclusion.
Well done to all the cast and crew for a slick, polished and utterly hilarious evening!
Cast and Crew
Background to the Play
David Farr originally wrote THE QUEEN MUST DIE for the National Theatre’s Shell Connections series, which was commissioned for some of the most innovative modern-day playwrights around to write inspiring plays specifically for young performers.
Our talented cast worked hard on the play as part of their Enrichment Programme, making it their own contemporary masterpiece by swapping Britney Spears for Taylor Swift and the papier-mâché statue of the Queen for a fibre-glass replica.
Like all his comedies, Farr set THE QUEEN MUST DIE in a small closed community where people live frustrated lives. Formed around a desperate idea with desperate people trying to achieve something in a world that does not quite allow them to do what they want, you feel sympathy for the characters but they are nonetheless suffering and you cringe for them.
Farr intended the title of the play to be both literal and ironic, and the symbolism at the end is not lost on the audience.
“I see the play as a staunchly republican piece. It is a genuinely political play about England and its attitudes to change. The English have an extraordinary tolerance and put up with the most bizarre things. Their attitude to the royals is a good example. The royals don’t have the power they used to have, but they create a mindset whereby we feel we are all subjects, not active citizens.”
Farr insists that the crucial character however, the statue of the Queen, should remain intact at the end of the play, with not a scratch on her in the carnage and chaos that she has caused.
Published on: 30th March 2017