A new musical about Princess Diana has been slammed by royal commentators

''It is in such bad taste that it's best ignored,'' said editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward.

If at first you don’t succeed, maybe don’t try again – at least, that would be the case for American theatre company La Jolla Playhouse, which has recreated the story of Princess Diana’s life as an on-stage musical.

A preview performance of the show, which will debut in the US from next week, has, predictably, not gone down well.

It was attended by theatre critics and royal commentators earlier in February, and they were quick to slam the show.

“It is in such bad taste that it’s best ignored,” said editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward.

When asked whether the royal family themselves would watch it, she said: “Oh goodness, no, none of them would have any interest in it.”

The Sunday Telegraph‘s arts writer Luciana Bellini said it was “just so silly and tongue-in-cheek that it can’t be taken seriously”.

When asked if the show would go down well in the UK, she said: “It’s hard to say – some royal fans will certainly find the idea unappealing.

“But perhaps in honour of our new American princess Meghan Markle, we should take a punt on it.”

There is one scene in the play that royal commentators found particularly offensive. The character of Diana’s former lover James Hewitt appears on-stage in his underwear and is seen “caressing” Diana.

The play follows Diana’s life from her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 to her tragic death 16 years later in 1997.

It lays bare Diana’s relationship with Prince Charles and her relationship with the press. It also looks into Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles.

The musical’s synopsis reads: “Behind the fairytale, there was a troubled marriage and a young woman struggling to find her voice. Facing an entrenched monarchy and unprecedented media scrutiny, Princess Diana surprises everyone – including herself – as she grows into a global phenomenon and manages to change the world.”

Playing the role of Diana is British actress Jeanna de Waal, who has performed in a number of plays and musicals including Kinky Boots and Wicked.

When it was announced that she’d be filling the role of Diana, Jeanna said: “I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn’t know about her and weren’t aware of her journey leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world.

“She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her.”

In an official video shared by La Jolla Playhouse, Jeanna revealed that playing the role was a “huge privilege”.

Watch Jeanna talking about playing the role of Diana, below – story continues after video:

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The blonde Brit has been active on social media sharing some of the production’s highlights, including an image of the cast enjoying a break at In-N-Out together.

Cast members have also shared backstage snaps from the performance.

Jeanna shared a photo of the musical cast enjoying a fast-food break between rehearsals. (Image: Instagram / @thebigdewaal)

The musical was written by renowned playwrights Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, and directed by Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley.

Speaking to Playbill, Bryan said the on-stage adaptation has 23 original songs, and the genre of each will vary between characters.

“Diana is pop-rock, royalty is string quartet, we have paparazzi as punk guitars and we try to make all those roles live on top of each other,” he said.

It is understood that while the show will remain in the US for now, there is hope that it will be performed on the West End in London.

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