entertainment

The Windsors Review: 'the West End’s funniest new comedy'

Simon Button writes that there's "never a dull moment" in the show that takes the mick out of the Royal family.

2021-08-13

Words: Simon Button; pictures: Marc Brenner

The Royal Family aren’t exactly the trickiest targets when it comes to satirical potshots, but The Windsors: Endgame does an impressive job of nailing all of them.

All of them, that is, except The Queen. In this musical comedy version of the hilariously irreverent TV series, Her Madge has abdicated the throne after Prince Philip’s death, putting Charles in charge and thus giving power-mad Camilla free rein to turn the UK into a feudal kingdom.

Prince Andrew is literally a joke. He’s now the court jester and the butt of endless japes about his recent headline-making antics.

Kara Tointon and Ciarán Owens (Photo: Marc Brenner)

William is a wet fish in thrall to Kate, who herself is bearing a grudge against Meghan for a tit-punch incident. And Meghan and Harry are in LA, doing yoga and masterminding Netflix deals while Fergie is their trusty maid, whipping up healthy smoothies as she reminisces about a side career in animal porn.

Sounds crackers? It is. And side-splittingly so, thanks to songs with lyrics like “You’re Harrods, I’m Asda” (during a Kate and Wills ballad), cracking lines like “Do you mind if I Matt Hancock your buttocks?” and a bunch of game actors - some from the TV show, others new - who give it tons of royal wellie.

Harry Enfield has Charles down pat by now, playing up his befuddlement and buffoonery and seizing the crown like Gollum from The Lord Of The Rings. Taking over from Haydn Gwynne, Tracy-Ann Oberman is a gleefully nasty Camilla, telling everyone to “just fuck off” and attacking the late Princess Diana in a viciously funny second-act solo.

Harry Enfield as Prince Charles (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Crystal Condie’s Meghan and Kara Tointon’s Kate have a magnificent bitch fight, Tom Durant-Pritchard’s Harry is an adorable nitwit and Sophie-Louise Dann is a brilliantly batty Fergie

Underserved in the first half, Ciarán Owens as William, Jenny Rainsford as Beatrice, and Eliza Butterworth as Eugenie all come into their own in the second half. And Matthew Cottle’s Edward steals the show as he takes on numerous roles and encourages the audience to blast Camilla for only having one A-level.

Ciarán Owens, Kara Tointon, Tracy Ann-Oberman, and Harry Enfield (Photo: Marc Brenner)

The script by George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler-Moore is bawdy and brash, with jokes about ginger cocks and partially-shaved fannies. High art it ain’t and there’s probably one cock joke too many, but at just under two hours including an interval, there’s never a dull moment.

You also get Harry and William snogging. Accidentally, but who cares?

True to the silly spirit of the TV show and playing fittingly at the theatre that usually hosts The Book of Mormon, The Windsors: Endgame is the West End’s funniest new comedy and a rollicking way to beat the lockdown blues.

Bullseye!

Rating: 4/5

The Windsors: Endgame is at the Prince of Wales Theatre until 9 October. For great deals on tickets and shows click here.