Lady Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died on August 31, 1997. A musical that makes the Crown tremble on the conspiracy theory appears.
On the 25th anniversary of Lady Diana’s death, a play tells the weeks before the Princess and Dodi Al Fayed’s road accident. Speaking about the premiere at Anglesey Beaumaris Festival, composer Lisa Logan said the show is respectful and celebrates Lady Diana’s compassion. “I was looking for a well-known story, a very strong woman and something that could reach a wider audience,” said Lisa. “We have tried to be incredibly respectful of all members of the royal family who are mentioned. I think I’m a realist ”. Chamber opera librettist David Peimer said he aimed for something more reflective than dramatic. “I absolutely didn’t want it to be a soap or that there was always a lot of dramatic tension,” he said. “I wanted to go a little more into the inner life and hope it would hold up”. On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana, Dodi and their driver Henri Paul were killed in an accident in the city’s Pont de l’Alma tunnel after leaving the Ritz Hotel. Her children, Prince William and Prince Harry, were only 15 and 12 years old respectively when their mother was killed.
At the time of her death, Princess Diana, 36, had been divorced from Prince Charles for a year after four years of separation. During the investigation of the princess, heart surgeon Hasnat Khan gave a detailed account of their two-year relationship and said she broke up with her a few weeks before she died after a vacation with the Al Fayed family. The work resumes a few weeks before her death and is told from the point of view of two completely fictional characters, a pair of clumsy little scammers who decide to target a traveling exhibition of jewelry and other memorabilia of Diana. David explained that the work also sees the princess, a Christian, being guided by a fictitious priest about her relationship with Dodi, a Muslim, although it is believed that at that time she spoke of her relationship with a real priest from Kensington. . “We focused on their love story, but also on interracial marriage,” said Lisa. In 2008, during the investigation into Diana and Dodi’s deaths, Mohamed Al Fayed’s spokesperson Michael Cole said the couple had been engaged. “We are looking back to the 1990s: today it would be quite big if people of two different religions were married in the royal family, but back then it was a huge thing,” said Lisa. Some may feel that another theatrical reconstruction of the princess’s life is a bold move.
Earlier this year, a filmed version of Diana: The Musical on Broadway garnered five awards at the Razzie Awards, an award parody honoring the worst film hits. But Lisa feels that her work of hers is a more suitable vehicle for the story. “My personal opinion as a composer is that it’s not the best subject for a musical,” she said. “A musical tends to be a little more mundane … this is a tragedy, it’s more operatic in its musical form, so I’d say it’s more suited to an opera than a musical and I’m certainly not afraid to have at least tried it and I welcome the opinions of the people ”. Over the years, Princess Diana’s life and her death in unclear circumstances has proved irresistible to storytellers, with several acclaimed actresses taking on the role of her. Naomi Watts played her in the 2013 film Diana, which received a cold reception from critics who called it “atrocious and intrusive.” The most recent portraits received a much warmer reception: BBC’s Will Gompertz described Emma Corrin in Netflix’s The Crown as “superb in a much easier part to go wrong.” Last year Kristen Stewart took on her role in Spencer and Mark Kermode in the Guardian called her “perfect”.