The Interview

"A moment in history played out in front of our eyes by a very talented cast"

Imagine being a fly on the wall for the lead up to the Interview that shook the world. At Park Theatre tonight we were able to do just that. Thanks to the wonderful and witty writing of Jonathan Maitland, we were taken on a gripping journey following both the preceding and aftermath of the infamous Interview between Princess Diana and Martin Bashir.

Michael Fentiman directed the play starring Yolanda Kettle as the Princess of Wales who displayed a striking resemblance to Diana. Yolanda’s beautiful acting paired with the iconic costumes and hairstyle presented a convincing portrayal of Her Royal Highness. I felt she completely embodied Diana, recreating her accent, posture and overall mannerisms perfectly. 

We also were introduced to the other four characters played by Tibu Fortes, Naomi Frederick, Cairán Owens and Mathew Flynn. I thought that each actor was well suited to their roles and held our attention well with commanding stage presence and intelligent choices. No head mics were used yet everyone projected well therefore I heard every word clearly.

The set, or lack thereof, consisted of a blank rectangular stage, which the audience surrounded. The lighting was well orchestrated, having various dynamics throughout the show, I enjoyed the blackout scene with torches and a few dull spotlights which really added to the tense atmosphere.  The musical moments linking the scenes also fuelled the tense atmosphere, keeping the audience engaged. The transitions between scene changes were seamless and some were met with slow-motion exits (which I didn’t fully understand but didn’t dislike.) Another part I wasn’t sold on was the fact they put the interview chair in the middle of the audience. I felt the angle was not ideal for some viewers causing some people to be turning to see and batting their heads in between characters to keep up - however I appreciate that this might have been a decision based on the limited space of the Park Theatre stage. 

As observers, we learnt that on 20th November 1995 Diana openly revealed secrets of her marriage and her personal struggles of being a royal. She divulged a considerable amount of private information, not only on the affair between her husband Charles with Camilla but also her own extra marital affairs too, shocking the nation. 

With the small but talented cast we witness the tough conversations endured by the Princess before as well as the rattling events that ensued after. I found this play to be very interesting, displaying realistic accounts of what may have occurred behind closed doors at this time. I feel that Jonathan Maitland has given Diana back her voice, highlighting some thought-provoking concepts with his rousing play. Was Princess Diana taken advantage of and manipulated by Martin Bashir? Well, you’ll just have to watch the show and make up your own mind…

This show was reviewed on the 1st November 2023.  The Interview runs at the Park Theatre, London until the 25th November 2023.  Tickets available here: The Interview | Projects | Park Theatre

Review written by Jasmine Alice

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Photo credit: Pamela Raith

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