The Crown Jewels

Readers familiar with Radio 4's Front Row will be wondering if KeepYourPowderDry is muscling in on Samira Ahmed's post-Archers slot on the nation's airwaves. Fear not. But this is a first for KeepYourPowderDry...a theatrical review.

A trip down to that there London saw KeepYourPowderDry visit the Garrick Theatre, for the self styled 'riotous new comedy' set around Captain Blood's attempt to steal the crown jewels.

Written by Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly), and directed by Sean Foley (Upstart Crow); the Crown Jewels stars Al Murray as King Charles II. He’s joined by a star-studded cast: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Mel Giedroyc, Neil Morrissey, Joe Thomas, Aidan McArdle, and Tanvi Virmani.

Not Al Murray

Based upon the somewhat incredulous story of Captain Blood's attempted theft of the crown jewels, the script allows the cast enough leeway to exploit their talents as stand up comedians. (I'm trying really hard not to give any spoilers here, can you tell?) 

At times this verges upon becoming historical panto. All I'll say is, those of you who, like I, baulk at the thought of being 'picked', perhaps best not to sit in the front two rows of the stalls, or on the front row upstairs. As this is a comedy starring Al Murray as Charles II, ladies might be more in the firing line than men. 

The cast are clearly enjoying their day job, adlibbing and trying to stifle their own laughter. An enjoyable couple of hours, which I think I might well be going to see again when it goes on tour. 

The Crown Jewels is at the Garrick until the 16th September, before it heads out for a limited run across the country: The Lowry, Salford 19th - 23rd September; The Marlowe, Canterbury 25th ‐ 30th September; New Theatre, Cardiff 3rd - 7th October; Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes 10th - 14th October.

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