Theater Review: ‘Truth, Lies, Diana’

January 21, 2015 Updated: January 21, 2015

Ray is a northern comedy playwright who is writing a play about – and becoming increasingly obsessed by – the mysterious death of Diana, Princess of Wales. He is being aided by his lovely wife, Suzy. Soon, they begin to realise that nobody can take on the might of the British establishment and win. These are the two fictional characters in a play that claims to present the facts behind Diana’s early demise.

Many of the revelations within the play – such as Diana’s (alleged) pregnancy at the time of her death are not really new. They were fodder for tabloid newspapers for many years after her death.

What is new here, is the very clear explanation of exactly what the sources are; and how these sources were often repressed in previous, official accounts of what happened to Diana.

From the inquest, where the words of the jury were changed by the judge, to the shambolic ambulance journey taking Diana to hospital, the play reveals a series of sinister interventions and cover-ups.

One of the most interesting aspects of the play is how the fictional writer Ray (one can only assume the alter ego of playwright Jon Conway) is approached by people who want to tell him relevant information that the investigating authorities were never interested in. Or which they’d been told to keep quiet about.

The play draws heavily on the investigative book Paris-London connection: The Assassination of Princess Diana. This was written by John Morgan, a forensic accountant by trade, suffering from a disabling neurological disease which stopped him from working. A colossal amount of reading into original court transcripts, witness statements and medical records was involved. Micheal Mansfield QC who served at the London inquest even said that this book would be “regarded as the ‘Magnum Opus’ on the crash”.

The small cast bring the spectrum of courts, tabloids, and private lives alive brilliantly. Truth, Lies, Diana is riveting watching.

 

‘Truth, Lies, Diana’
Charing Cross Theatre, London
Until February 14th, 2015

5 stars out of 5

 

Mastoor Khan is a writer living in London.