There is literally only one thing that could make the story of Freddie Mercury dressing up Princess Diana in boy drag to sneak her into a hopping London gay bar more fabulous — a musical!
Yes, Royal Vauxhall, a new cabaret-style show, will set the supposed 1988 night to song and dance, hopefully contributing a little cheer to the memories of the beloved figures who met their ends too soon.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s pretty fantastic:
Freddie, Diana, British TV entertainer Kenny Everett and his co-star Cleo Rocos were sitting around watching The Golden Girls, like you do.
They’d turned the sound off and were improvising the dialogue.
“Kenny was Blanche, Diana was Dorothy, Freddie was Sophia and I was Rose,” Rocos recalls in her book The Power of Positive Drinking. “Kenny was Blanche, Diana was Dorothy, Freddie was Sophia and I was Rose – we were uncontrollable with laughter. Diana, who was 27 at the time, was giggling from behind a cushion and asked what our plans were for that evening.”
“Freddie told her we were going to the Vauxhall Tavern. Diana said she had never heard of it and she’d like to come.”
The gang tried to dissuade the princess, but she was in full “mischief mode.”
“Go on, let the girl have some fun. Can you imagine?” said Freddy.
They dressed her up as a gay male model — “a camouflage army jacket, hair tucked up into a leather cap and dark aviator sunglasses.”
“Scrutinising her in the half light, we decided that the most famous icon of the modern world might just – just – pass for a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model,” Rocos writes.
The fictionalized retelling of the story will be performed in the same bar the event took place, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern — hence the name of the show.
Royal Vauxhall premieres at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on February 17 for four nights only. For more information including tickets visit the Royal Vauxhall Tavern website.