The Princess Diana musical is making history as the first production to debut on Netflix ahead of its official Broadway opening night
The musical “Diana” chronicles the Princess of Wales’ turbulent relationship with Prince Charles, his affair with Camila Parker Bowles, and the increasing fame in the last years of her life. Originally staged in San Diego in 2019, the show moved to Broadway and was in the middle of previews when the coronavirus pandemic halted theatrical productions. The opening night of “Diana” was scheduled for March 31 and has since been postponed until May 25, 2021.
While a Netflix airdate still to be announced, the production will feature the original Broadway cast. The cast is set to return to the theatre with COVID-19 safety protocols in place for the Netflix staging, making it the first Broadway production to return to the stage.
“We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theatre lovers everywhere,” the producers said in a statement on Wednesday. “Though there is no substitute for the live theatre, we are honoured to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.”
Directed by “Come From Away” Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the production will see the cast who originated the roles of Diana, Charles, Camila and Queen Elizabeth II transition to Broadway. Jeanna de Waal will reprise her role as Diana, with actors Roe Hartrampf returning as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II. The book and music of “Diana” are by “Memphis” composers Joe DiPietro and David Bryan.
“To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege,” British actress de Waal said in a video interview posted to the La Jolla Playhouse’s website last year when the musical was first announced in 2019. “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.”
The production is the second musical to pay tribute to the late People’s Princess. The British production “Call Me Diana” will open in London in September but leaves out many aspects and key players in Diana’s life, including Princes William and Harry, and the Queen.