A new musical about Princess Diana’s life is set to stream on Netflix before it makes its Broadway debut, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Diana: A New Musical, is set to premiere in New York in May 2021, but with fans facing a long wait, the producers have opted to film the show and make it available for Netflix subscribers.
In a joint statement, the Diana producers said: “We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share our show with theatre lovers everywhere. Though there is no substitute for the live theatre, we are honoured to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.”
It’s the first time a Broadway show has been shown on the small screen first.
The version will be filmed at Longacre Theatre on Broadway, where it was scheduled to open at the end of March 2020 before it was postponed because of the pandemic.
There will not be an audience.
It will feature the original Broadway cast, including Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, and Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Actors' Equity Association, a union representing stage actors, has approved the plans to keep actors safe during the filming, including regular coronavirus testing, isolating actors and stage managers, and changes to ventilation in backstage areas.
Mary McColl, executive director of Actors' Equity Association, told Associated Press: “Now comes the hard part — taking a safety plan from the page and putting it into practice. The work to provide the safest workplace possible in this environment will require everyone to work together, from the employer to every employee.”
Actor de Waal previously told Access Hollywood about the pressure she felt playing the late Diana, and said: “It’s an actor’s dream to take on such a wonderful story and prolific figure in history that still has a current role in how we think and address and how we hear from the royals.”
She also said she wanted to do justice to Dianna, because she is still “so loved”.
The musical is not the only retelling of Diana’s life due out soon. Kirsten Stewart was announced as the actor taking on the same role in a film called Spencer, which starts filming in 2021.
According to Deadline, Pablo Larraín will direct Stewart in Spencer, a drama which will focus on one weekend in the late princess’s life when she decided her marriage to Prince Charles was not working.
It will be set over three days during one of Diana’s last Christmases at the Queen’s Norfolk estate of Sandringham.
Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Her life has been retold several times over the years, with Netflix subscribers also able to also see her played by Emma Corrin in season four of The Crown later this year.