Stop! In the name of the King! Historically ‘accurate’ comedy caper The Crown Jewels breaks it’s way into The New Theatre this week and it means business. Boasting a stellar all star cast and a heavy helping of West End kudos, The Crown Jewels has all the makings of a classic comedy play.
Based on true events, the play follows charismatic Colonel Blood in a foolhardy attempt to steal the crown jewels from the Merry Monarch himself, Charles II. The story has been penned by Simon Nye, the mind behind raucous sitcom Men Behaving Badly, after he learned of the ridiculous true events behind the scandal. The jewels were essentially left in a cupboard and defended by a single guard in his 70’s, basically asking to be stolen right?
Before we go any further into this review, it would be insane to not mention that this show has one of the most star studded casts Cardiff has ever seen! Al Murray, Mel Giedroyc, Joe Thomas, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Neil Morrisey form a powerhouse union of comedy and stage. Al Murray in particular as the monarch of the story was a standout, at some points relying on audience interaction and his years of standup experience to get the crowd laughing along. You can expect from Murray the same rude and crass humour that made Men Behaving Badly a household name. It was then a bit of a surreal, but welcome, surprise to see Carrie Hope Fletcher bring genuine gravitas to the production and belt out some of the bangers she’s so well known for.
I would definitely say that the show is a bit of a mixed bag and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea; it is light on story, but it makes up for it with gorgeous set pieces, West End worthy vocals and Mel Giedroyc seemingly just playing herself which was a joy to watch.
Overall, I would recommend The Crown Jewels to comedy theatre fans who are looking for some sort of amalgamation between The Play That Goes Wrong, Horrible Histories and Spitting Image. Be prepared for slapstick comedy, crude humour and showtunes, when you visit the theatre this week. Just don’t be inspired to nick anything on the way out!
Tickets to the Crown Jewels is at the New theatre TUE 3 – SAT 7 OCTOBER 2023
Tickets Available from eh New Theatre Box Office