Finding yourself stuck in a portaloo toilet with Her Majesty the Queen would be nerve-wracking enough for anyone, add a bomb into the equation and an anti-royalist and The Throne has all the ingredients for an explosive performance.
Anti-Royalist Derek Jones PhD (Charlie Condou) is dissatisfied with his life, job and the rules on the “information and action sheet” that he is expected to have read up on before the Jubilee royal visit is extracting the very soul of his existence.
Mary Roscoe’s wonderful performance as Her Majesty the Queen focuses on the calm and collected image that is often portrayed to the outside world. Offering a small insight into the private life of her Majesty through the words of John Goldsmith (playwright). Some of which is possibly verbatim although it’s unlikely to ever be confirmed by her Majesty. Could we actually discover the mystery of what is kept in her handbag?
At times it felt that the play lacked the chaotic atmosphere you might have expected with an imminent threat of a bomb which could explode at any given moment. I would have possibly expected to see heightened nerves or stronger concerns from both parties that things could explode at any time, yet neither displayed any of these convincingly. Most of the play is “just two people” having a really interesting conversation while locked inside the toilet awaiting rescue.
There are some extremely comedic lines added throughout the play and “digs” toward certain members of the Royal family which are particularly funny knowing what we do about certain events that have taken place since the 2002 Golden Jubilee.
Suspending your disbelief is an imperative requirement throughout the performance from the lack of security surrounding the Queen’s visit and tightened security checks that would have taken place long before she arrived.
Please use the link below for more information on The Throne, tickets and what’s on at Charing Cross Theatre.
Photo credits Tristram Kenton.