The Throne ★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Jun 29 - Jul 30, 2022


The premise for the The Throne is engagingly comic. In the Golden Jubilee year, the queen has come to Dudley Goring Comprehensive School to open a new science wing. In the course of events, she is trapped in a specially installed lavatory with the republican Head of Science whilst a terrorist threatens to blow up the bespoke convenience. We were hoping for the sharp satire of Spitting Image or even better, the inspired fantasy of Mike Bartlett's King Charles III. The Throne plays it straight with Mary Roscoe doing a credible imitation of Elizabeth II with the accent, gestures and attitudes all ringing true. Despite misspeaking his lines occasionally, Charlie Condou is convincing as Derek Jones PhD notwithstanding his character's inconsistency. He goes from ardent republican to almost fawning sycophant and from terror at the prospect of the bomb to casually debating his political position in the blinking of an eye. The Throne has some gentle humour, but the point of it all seems to be this discussion about the continuation of the monarchy with its focus on points like the role of the privy council and the dreadful treatment of the Chagos islanders. In the end, however, the play comes down on neither side of the issue, and things go on much as they started. It is this lack of conviction and consistent perspective that makes The Throne a pleasant but not very challenging evening out.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Tristram Kenton.

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