Tickets and more information: http://www.uniontheatre.biz/hrh.html
Running until: 2nd June 2018
Production photos by: Nick Rutter
In the midst of all the press about the latest royal wedding, a musical about a the relationship between a regular girl from Essex and a fictional prince couldn’t be more timely. H.R. Haitch follows Chelsea and Bertie, a couple who have been going romantically strong since they met in a cookery class at college. The only problem is, Bertie is actually a prince who the palace have been hiding so he can lead a normal life. And his unveiling to the public is happening soon. At the same time, Chelsea’s family pub The Dog & Duck is facing being shut down thanks to gentrification in the area. H.R. Haitch is a pleasant new musical but I can’t help but feel there are still some kinks that need some serious ironing out.
On a positive note, the cast are absolutely brilliant in this. Tori Allen-Martin is charming, fierce and hilarious as Chelsea, with a gorgeous voice lined with a pop edge that really brings Luke Bateman’s score alive. Christian James is also charming as the dim witted Prince Bertie and they make a wonderful pair. Another stand out is Emily Jane Kerr in a villainous turn as Princess Victoria, who has been pushed aside once Prince Albert is in the spotlight. The cast is rounded out by the excellent Christopher Lyne, Andrea Miller and Prince Plockey who all play dual roles.
The show undeniably gains laughs. The humour is very current for a show that takes place in 2011 with plenty of riffs on a nationwide referendum, a Prime Minister with a past involving a pig and a royal wedding between a mixed race girl and a white prince. However, more often than not, the show becomes a massive cheese-fest. There’s only so many Adele puns you can squeeze into one joke. And there’s only so much you can do to make Prince Bertie into a complete idiot before it becomes unbelievable. I did find a couple of plot holes as well which didn’t make much sense. The referendum starts out as a referendum on whether the public want a monarchy or not and then suddenly turns into whether the public want Princess Victoria or Prince Bertie as the next monarch. That was what let it down for me. All in all, H.R. Haitch really is a fun show, but I wish it was further developed rather than rush to get it on stage in time for the royal wedding.
Until next time,