Diana: The Musical is back on Broadway, continuing its previews after being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic of March 2020.

The controversial production was resumed yesterday, ahead of its opening night on Saturday, November 17 at Longacre Theatre.

However, while in-person audiences had yet to witness the stage show, which centres around the love triangle between the Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Camilla, a filmed version premiered on Netflix last month to scathing reviews and social media verdicts published on both sides of the Atlantic.

The new musical was roundly slammed by critics and viewers over its ‘hysterically awful’ lyrics and ‘absurdly over the top’ production – and any hope that the televised version would drum up interest – and ticket sales – for the show was dealt a serious blow. 

The Evening Standard, The Times and the Chicago Tribune gave Diana: The Musical damning one-star reviews, while viewers on social media mocked the ridiculous songs – including a number where paparazzi sing ‘better than a Guinness, better than a w**k/snap a few pics, it’s money in the bank’.

Diana: The Musical (pictured)l has returned to Broadway to continue its previews after being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020

Diana: The Musical (pictured). Following being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadway has resumed its previews of Diana: The Musical.

The controversial production resumed yesterday ahead of its opening night on November 17 at the Longacre Theatre. Pictured, Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana

Pictured, Erin Davie as Camilla

The controversial production resumed yesterday, ahead of its opening night on Saturday, November 17 at Longacre Theatre. Pictured, Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana, left, and Erin Davie as Camilla, right

Commentators had previously called on Prince Harry, who has an estimated $100million contract with Netflix, not to cut ties with the streaming company over the exploitation of his mother, and the royal family. 

MailOnline’s Dan Wooton wrote that ‘if he fails to speak against such a horrendous depiction his mother, then it is tacitly endorsing’. 

The show, created by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (Bon Jovi’s keyboardist), stars Jeanna de Waal, as Princess Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Judy Kaye as the Queen, and Erin Davie who ‘turns Camilla Parker Bowles into the Wicked Witch of the West’.

One point Diana sings that she wishes Charles was Elton John before adding: “Alright, my intellect/but maybe the discotheque/where Prince can hear Prince and we all get Funkadellic”

Later, she sings to her infant son: ‘​​Harry my ginger-haired son / You’ll always be second to none.’ 

One of the most popular lyrics is from the scene in which Diana crashes Camilla’s party and scandalised guests sing about “Thrilla In Manilla with Diana And Camilla”.

However while in-person audiences had yet to witness the stage show, which centres around the love triangle between the Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Camilla, a filmed version premiered on Netflix last month to scathing reviews and social media verdicts published on both sides of the Atlantic

While in-person audiences were not able to witness the stage show that centers on the love triangle of Princess of Wales and Prince Charles, it was viewed by Netflix subscribers last month. The filmed version received scathing reviews on both sides of Atlantic and was criticized by social media users. 

The new musical (pictured on Broadway) was roundly slammed by critics and viewers over its 'hysterically awful' lyrics and 'absurdly over the top' production - and any hope that the televised version would drum up interest - and ticket sales - for the show was dealt a serious blow

The Broadway musical was severely criticized by critics, viewers, and audiences for its ‘hysterically horrible’ lyrics and a’stupidly over-the-top’ production. There was no hope that the televised version would draw in more people and increase ticket sales.

Revealed – The ’embarrassing lyrics’ that made reviewers cringe 

Charles, cradling newborn: ‘Darling, I’m holding our son / So let me say, jolly well done.’

Chorus of onlookers at a party thrown by Camilla (Erin Davie), crashed by her romantic rival: ‘It’s the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ / But with Diana and Camilla!’  

Diana being chased by paparazzi who chant: ‘Better than a Guinness, better than a w**k / Snap a few pics, it’s money in the bank’

Diana, cradling Harry: ‘Harry, my ginger-haired son / You’ll always be second to none.’

A man dying of AIDS sings to Diana: ‘I may be unwell, but I’m handsome as hell.’

Diana laments: ‘Serves you right for marrying an Scorpio.

A miserable Diana singing: “I could use a Prince to save me from my prince.” 

Diana, at a concert with Prince Charles, mumbles: “Alright. I’m no intellect/but perhaps there’s a discotheque/where Prince can hear Prince and we could all get Funkadellic.” 

Shocking: A screenshot reveals one of the crass lines from Diana: The Musical

Shocking: A screenshot shows one of the most outrageous lines from Diana: The Musical

As Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson notes, the lyrics are not ‘meant to be silly and campy’, despite how they might read on paper. They are merely the stilted, embarrassingly serious ramblings a show that doesn’t care about real humanity.

De Waal, who said it was a ‘huge honor’ to play the princess, was criticized for her lack of nuance. Many compared it to Kristen Stewart’s powerful portrayal of the princess in the upcoming film, Spencer. 

Others have questioned the accuracy and tone of the musical, with Wootton writing: Diana: The Musical is the most offensive and degrading portrayal of the late Princess of Wales in fiction since her death in 1997 – and in terms of accuracy it makes that other historically-derided Netflix series The Crown look like a royal encyclopaedia of truth.

‘The lies about Di’s life are egregious – from suggesting she used HIV patients for publicity to attacking Margaret Thatcher for her politics.’

Viewers have taken to Twitter to mock and criticise the musical, with several blasting the lyrics

Many viewers took to Twitter to criticize the musical and some even criticized the lyrics.

The criticism was echoed by viewers who took to Twitter and mocked the production.

One tweet: “I just watched the first twenty minutes of Diana the musical after preview 2, and I am so tired, I think I am hallucinating.” This is like a feverdream.

Another posted: ‘All you need to know about the Diana musical on Netflix is that it has a song that contains the lyrics “it’s a thrilla in Manila with Diana and Camilla”.’

A third added simply: ‘Whoever decided to create “Diana the Musical” on Netflix made a HORRIBLE mistake #DianaTheMusical.’ 

Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley directed the musical. Other characters include Paul Burrell, a royal butler, and Andrew Morton, a biographer. James Hewitt is depicted in the musical as a bare-chested sex God.  

FEMAIL provides a snapshot of the criticisms’ thoughts…



Jessie Thompson writes: ‘The whole thing feels like the result of someone who read Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles on a sunlounger, semi-p****d on margaritas while listening to Aerosmith. It sounds quite good, actually.

‘Camilla (Erin Davie) hangs around every scene like a ghost at the feast; the show’s attitude to her and Charles is summed up in one hysterically unsubtle lyric – “he’s a third rate Henry VIII and she’s Godzilla”. 

‘Worse yet, the shlocky lyrics made it feel like I was being bludgeoned on the head by a commemorative Crockery set. 

They go from the lamentable – “Feel that groove, even royals must move” – to absurd – “Hearts break, burst, burst, and sever “….” The words “Jaames Hewitttt”, sung in the style of Meatloaf, made me wonder if I was on acid.



Michael Phillips writes: ‘Diana: The Musical is a hunk of Wensleydale cheese now streaming on Netflix, and in this case the “r” in “streaming” is optional…

Already “Diana: The Musical,” has drawn slack-jawed comparisons to the film “Cats.” But “Cats” was different — dubious material handled badly, a compilation of misjudgments and digital fur. This one’s a matter of shoddy material staged efficiently and fluidly by director Christopher Ashley, aided by a solid cast of pros swimming upstream, trying hard not to mentally rewrite librettist and lyricist Joe DiPietro’s words with every stroke…

‘It’s tolerable, I suppose, if you don’t have to listen to it. Unfortunately it’s a musical so you have to listen to it.’ 



Clive Davis writes, “[It]It really does reach new depths. DiPietro — whose new show, What’s New Pussycat, opens at Birmingham Rep this month — has said he did not aim to be “campy”. What else can you say about a venture so outrageously outlandish? 

‘Jeanna De Waal captures Diana’s shy glance, but there’s not much else she can do with a cardboard cut-out, while Judy Kaye’s portrayal of the Queen seems to be channelling Hyacinth Bucket. Roe Hartrampf is a simpering Charles, while Erin Davie transforms Camilla Parker Bowles in the Wicked Witch of the West. 

‘When she and a vengeful Diana come face to face at a fancy dinner, you wouldn’t be at all surprised if DiPietro and Bryan staged a bout of mud-wrestling. They do however give us James Hewitt, a naked, jodphur-wearing, sex god.



Marianka Swain writes: ‘”A fairy tale born in Hell.” That’s the nuanced take on Princess Diana’s marriage in this redundant soap opera-meets-rock opera, which would be in bad taste were it not so dull. It seems a bizarre choice for Netflix, which is premiering a filmed version of this new musical ahead of its Broadway opening in November – unless the intent is to make The Crown look even better by comparison.

‘Unlike the garlanded drama, Diana The Musical sprints from her courtship until her death in under two hours. It’s like a hyperactive Wikipedia article. 

‘There’s no time for thoughtful characterisation or dialogue; instead, everyone helpfully blurts out their current emotional state. It’s the mood ring school of writing.’



Stuart Heritage writes, “What an incredibly bizarre work of artwork this is… You can stick a pin into almost every song and pull out one line that makes it feel like it was created specifically to be a berserk prank on the world.” 

‘My particular favourite is the moment when Diana looks into a crib and tenderly sings: “Harry, my ginger-haired son / You’ll always be second to none.” 

‘But others might prefer the part when the Queen belts out a song about Prince Charles’s inability to keep it in his pants, or the song that appears to be called A Thriller in Manilla with Camilla.’



Andrzej Lukowski writes: ‘Really, it’s not bad at all. Ultimately the only thing I was left slightly struggling with was the exact point: DiPietro’s central thesis is to portray Diana in a positive, uplifting light as a woman who overcame adversity to find and better herself: “I choose happiness, I choose a fresh new start” she sighs, radiantly, near the end. 

‘But if you’re somebody who struggles to find the British monarchy especially interesting, there’s maybe a sense of consequentiality missing here.

Contrarily, if you believe her too-short, tragic life was a tragedy, you may be surprised at the upbeat mood. Still, it’s good-natured fun with a big heart, probably best enjoyed after a couple of white wine spritzers.’  


Richard Lawson writes, “Diana is a shellacked lump product born solely from cold, money-minded Cynicism.”

“The show, written by Joe DiPietro (of Bon Jovi fame) and musician David Bryan (of Bon Jovi fame), is advertised as something revelatory and a peek behind a curtain to see the truth about what happened to young Diana Spencer when she married Prince Charles. It does not do any of that. Anyone who has watched Netflix’s The Crown or, I don’t know, briefly skimmed a Wikipedia article will already know pretty much everything that’s clumsily explicated in the musical…

The musical claims to be telling this story in order to better understand Diana and to make her more than an icon. The production exists solely to exploit her legacy and to run us through a list of fashion moments and events in order to make more money from the entire circus.


Peter Debruge writes: ‘The one-dimensionality of this portrayal reveals how little we truly understood about the woman’s inner world. Gaps left by tabloids were filled in part by Andrew Morton’s controversial biography, based largely on input from Diana herself — a process depicted here in the show’s catchiest song, “The Words Came Pouring Out.” 

“But so many secrets remain unseen, and the rest depends heavily on speculation. Diana’s divorce was considerably more complicated than Bryan and DiPietro make it out to be, and she dies abruptly one song later — not “Candle in the Wind,” alas.

“Diana” feels inept when the musical is shown on screen, as closeups demand a more nuanced performance.