It’s brutal, it’s grotesque, it’s irreverent, it’s pantomime, it shocks and it makes you laugh out loud. It’s The Windsors: Endgame and as childishly silly as it is you can’t ignore the fact that it provides a wonderful guilty pleasure, writes Michael Holland.
Harry Enfield as Prince Charles fronts up a great cast of Royals, some of whom have crossed over from the Channel 4 TV show in their roles, to tell an unbelievably ridiculous tale of Charles taking the country back almost a thousand years to a society living once again in the Dark Ages, with him as absolute monarch. And as God.
The Queen abdicates to give Charles a chance to reign, but he wants to hand over the sceptre to his son Will. Camilla convinces Charles not to do it and finds a clause in a document that gets him – and her – more power than he could ever imagine. It does, however, mean the people become serfs, and Harry and Will have to combine forces for a revolution. The sub-plot is Beatrice and Eugenie wanting to prove their father’s innocence.
The caricatures are straight from Spitting Image, via the Daily Mail and a fetid sewer adjoining an all-boys boarding school. They are mean, spiteful, and hilarious. Kate Middleton is a ‘pikey’ who loves her high street fashions, Fergie tops up her finances making porn films, and Camilla is cast as a Cruella de Ville who seeks power more than anything else. Meghan, meanwhile, is very controlling with Harry as her lapdog, while Harry Enfield seems to have been utilised just for his name as he had very little to do.
There are some great turns in this ensemble piece. Eliza Butterworth as Eugenie almost strangles herself doing the accent she gives the young princess; Edward Cottle’s Prince Edward crops up to steal scenes; Sophie Louise Dann runs riot with her Fergie, but it is Tracy-Ann Oberman as Camilla who gets the prize here. Her song about Diana has the audience trying to peek through their fingers and put their fingers in their ears at the same time!
Of course, without the writing of Bert Tyler-Moore and George Jeffrie, who tragically died last year, this would never have happened, so hats off to them.
The Windsors: Endgame is truly absurd, but a real bundle of treasonable fun.
The Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry St, London W1D 6AS until October 9th. Times: Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm; Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm; Sunday 3pm. Admission: £13 – £150
Photos: Marc Brenner