There was a tangible sense of excitement and the beginning of a ‘new term’ in the auditorium as the large first night audience waited for the curtain to rise this week.  The theatre had been closed for a month whilst the foyer was undergoing its facelift and everyone was looking forward to the much anticipated new play Princess Undone – starring Stephanie Beacham on her return to the Eastbourne stage after fourteen years.

Fellow Friend and theatre correspondent, Kevin Anderson, summed up the play in his piece in The Herald as, “A consummate study in flawed royalty ………. a literate, elegant script threaded with surprising humour as well as sudden moments of devastating pathos”. Written and directed by Richard Stirling and inspired by actual events, the play gives a tantalising insight into the lives of the inhabitants of Kensington Palace with frequent – and often not particularly flattering – references to other members of the Royal Family who live there.  Stephanie was on stage throughout with an amazingly believable portrayal of Princess Margaret:  fun-loving, kicking her heels off and donning slippers one moment, then standing on ceremony the next!

L-r: Harry Livingstone, Stephanie Beacham, Jason Merrells, Gary Webster Front:  Writer/Director Richard Stirling

L-r: Harry Livingstone, Stephanie Beacham, Jason Merrells, Gary Webster
Front: Writer/Director Richard Stirling

It was with great anticipation that The Friends gathered in the bar to meet the four-strong cast and the writer/director Richard Stirling.  It was a pleasure to chat to them all!