Amidst the chuckles and guffaws, the play flirts with moments that could easily slip into "Carry On" territory—playful innuendos and a parental tête-à-tête about Elizabeth Edwards' revealing attire come to mind. Nevertheless, the production sidesteps that as she enters wearing more than the previous scene.
Additionally, glimpses of absurdity reminiscent of "Monty Python" pepper the performance. Cast members' grins and eye contact accompany the rotation of set pieces, punctuating scenes with an irresistible sense of playfulness. While it may take a bit of time for the audience to fully acclimate to the play's distinctive blend of comedy, the effort is undoubtedly worth it. The ability to weave humour into historical settings can be a challenging feat, yet "The Crown Jewels" manages to strike that balance beautifully.
In conclusion, "The Crown Jewels" emerges as a delightful theatrical experience that intertwines a captivating cast, historical intrigue, and humour. It's a production that takes a bit of time to warm up to, but once it finds its rhythm, the laughter flows freely. In an era where comedy can be demanding, this play navigates the challenge with grace and flair, leaving audiences with an evening of mirthful entertainment.
This show was reviewed on the 9th August 2023. The Crown Jewels runs at the Garrick Theatre until the 16th September 2023. Tickets available here: The Crown Jewels - A riotous new comedy (crownjewelsplay.com)
Review written by Valentine Gale-Sides
Photo credit: Hugo Glendinning