London Audience "Hissing and Booing" at Camilla During Diana Musical, Reports Say

Audience members made their allegiances known during a recent performance.

A musical about the life of Princess Diana received some passionate audience participation when it was performed in London on Monday. On Dec. 4, the Eventim Apollo hosted a concert version of the musical Diana, which was on Broadway in 2021 and can also be watched on Netflix. According to some who attended the performance, the crowd made their allegiances to the late royal known. Reports say that the crowd hissed and booed at the character of Camilla Parker Bowles (now Queen Camilla) whenever she was onstage.

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Diana has reached cult status among some theater fans. The show originally premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California and was set to come to Broadway in March 2020. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pushed back and eventually debuted in November 2021 before closing a month later. (Unsurprisingly, it received negative reviews.) A filmed performance of the show was released on Netflix even before the show opened on Broadway, and it gained some notoriety that way. The film was nominated for several Golden Raspberry Awards (also known as the Razzies, an award show for the worst movies) and won five.

This brings us to Dec. 4, when fans of the campy production took in a one-night-only concert version in London. According to several audience members who shared their experience on X (formerly Twitter), Camilla, who was being played by actor Alice Fearn, got quite the reaction from theatergoers.

"I'm LIVING for the audience hissing and booing Camilla and Charles when they're on stage at Diana The Musical," wrote one attendee on X. Another posted, "every time camilla is on stage the audience hisses and boos and I am screaming. seeing diana the musical in london is everything I dreamed and more." Someone else shared, "Diana the musical was an excellent panto that had clearly had NO tech rehearsal and I bloody loved it. The audience were on top form (SO MUCH booing and hissing for Charles), and the cast were brilliant." Another fan posted that the audience was "booing Charles and Camilla and openly laughing at 'serious' dialogue."

Kobi Kassal, editor-in-chief of Theatrely, flew to London from New York City for the show after falling in love with the musical when he saw it on Broadway in 2021. He shared his experience at the concert version with Best Life via email.

"It was an incredible experience to see so many audience members witness the musical for the first time, and when Camilla was introduced the audience response was extremely negative with loud booing and hissing," Kassal says. "For the rest of the musical, anytime Charles [played by Andy Coxon] or Camilla would be involved in the plot, you could hear hissing and boos coming from all over the audience."

The booing was only one aspect of the crowd's response to the performance that made it so enjoyable in Kassal's opinion. In his review, he writes that some "iconic lines" from the show received hearty applause and that it was a "unique treat" to take in the show with a British audience. He also says that the cast was in on the fun.

"Alice Fearn who played Camilla was so fierce and wonderful as a performer, it was great to hear her sing the score and you could tell the actors weren't too bothered, they were in on the performance," he tells Best Life. Kassal adds that overall, it was "a great night with such a fun musical, 10/10."

The theater's reaction to Camilla, of course, stems from her relationship with Diana's husband, now King Charles III, and the affair they had while Diana and Charles were still married. Diana and Charles separated in 1992, and the Princess of Wales tragically died in a car accident in 1997. Today, Charles and Camilla have been married for 18 years. They became the king and queen of the United Kingdom following the September 2022 death of Queen Elizabeth II.

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Read the original article on Best Life.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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