A new musical will recreate the night Princess Diana managed to disguise herself as a man and visited a gay bar, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, along with Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett. Details of the alleged clandestine outing surfaced in an autobiography of Cleo Rocos, a close friend of Everett.
"The story of the wildest night in the history of the capital's most iconic gay venue. It's 1988 and queer London is partying hard under the spectre of AIDS, the scrutiny of the press and the shadow of Clause 28. When Princess Diana dreams of a wild night out away from the long lenses of the paparazzi and the ruthless Royals at the Palace, best buddies Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett know there is only one place to take her: the Royal Vauxhall Tavern," reads an excerpt from the musical's release.
The musical titled 'Royal Vauxhall', directed by Russell Lucas and created by Desmond O'Connor, is being staged at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The stars lined up to play the leading characters, include Sarah-Louise Young as Princess Diana, Reuben R Kaye as Mercury, and Stuart Saint as Everett.
The two-hour musical will play out how the princess artfully disguised her famous face without blowing her cover. "Their night at the Tavern is the stuff of legend," adds the release. "Desmond O'Connor's irreverent yet insightful new musical reveals that what they learnt about themselves and each other would shock and propel them through the final years of their tragically shortened lives." The show premieres over four nights in February and tickets are priced between £12-to-£15.
"If it's a story people want to hear, if it's something that is financially viable for our producers – we're looking to get it expanded, make it a larger production, make it a longer run...If you love the music of Queen, if you love the music of Bowie, if you love London in the 80s, if you're a royalist, if you not a royalist, if you want to laugh, if you want to cry a little bit, if you want to laugh and cry, then come and see the show. Come and see it, it's a lot of fun," Kaye who plays out Mercury told Attitude.
According to Rocos, the former dancer who wrote of Diana's royal visit to the gay bar in her memoir, The Power of Positive Drinking, the Princess was dressed in an army jacket, cap and sunglasses for the night out. "When we walked in... we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute," said Rocos. "But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it...She did look like a beautiful young man."