16 questions to ask about the death of Princess Diana, according to Truth, Lies, Diana

In London theatre, News, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Creator Jon Conway (centre) and the cast of Truth, Lies, Diana It’s not often that you’re handed a full dossier with your ticket at a theatre press night, but then Truth, Lies, Diana is no ordinary theatre production. This “factional” drama attracted headlines around the world before rehearsals even began – and continues to do so. Below, I’ve collated some of these cuttings – only ones in English and, trust me, this is just a smattering. At the second press performance last night, rather than one of the usual London reviewers or bloggers, I was sat next to the highly esteemed UK correspondent from German national newspaper Die Welt. Despite the weight of media interest, however, on viewing, there’s just no getting around it: Truth, Lies, Diana is a bad play. More that that: it’s a bad play-within-a-play, with writer-producer Jon Conway also starring playing Ray, a fictional version of ‘himself’, who while researching and writing a play of the same title, is betrayed by his two-timing wife, suffers a mental breakdown and is literally hounded to death by the “men in grey suits”. The press night dossier handed out at Truth, Lies, Diana Crossed with re-enactments of interviews and court transcripts, the result is Pirandello meets The Permanent Way, with pantomime production values (bad acting, bad accents, bad wigs) and clunky audience interaction (raise your hand if you no longer believe the car crash was just an accident). However dramatically bad, though, I applaud Jon Conway for undertaking this project, with clearly good intentions. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but he makes a strong case that there was something dodgy about what happened in that Parisian tunnel on 31 August 1997, and in the days, weeks, months and years that followed. As Conway’s ‘character’ says in the play, “everything before seems like an accident, everything after seems like a cover-up”. I admit it, I raised my hand in the stalls. And when I got home, I indulged in some web research of my own. Pretty much all of Truth, Lies, Diana’s revelations have been revealed before, and been ‘proved’ and ‘disproved’ at length. Leaving aside some of the more fantastical claims, the ones that prompted me to raise my hand included: At the 2007 inquest, there were more than 500 documents the jury didn’t see And 84 witnesses There were 58 errors in the autopsy report And she was embalmed before the autopsy – within hours of dying In CCTV footage just before leaving the Ritz, driver Henri Paul exhibits no signs of drunkenness Conway also points out in the play that, in recent years, we’ve seen many old crimes back in the courts thanks to new evidence – phone hacking, Jimmy Savile, Hillsborough. Will the death of Princess Diana someday receive the same reconsideration?   Truth or lies: 16 key questions CCTV footage of driver Henri Paul suggests he was not drunk Based on his immersion in the subject matter, here are the “key questions” (in the programme, it says 13, but breaking it down, I make 16) Conway believes should be probed more deeply: Why were James Hewitt and Paul Burrell smeared to discredit anything they might say? Why do the French and British security forces claim they never spied on Diana and had no knowledge she was even in Paris on that fateful weekend? Was Diana pregnant when she died? How can you conclude Henri Paul was drunk based on all the evidence? Did Henri Paul work for various security forces? Why did the French Police Investigation dismiss key evidence and witnesses? Why were there so many irregularities with the autopsies and pathology reports? Why was Diana embalmed before her autopsy? Why did French Police ignore leads to find the drivers of the pursuing motorbikes and the Fiat Uno that caused the crash? Why were no security, speed or traffic cameras working on the route the car took in Paris that night? Why was the weight of evidence that James Andanson was the likely driver of the Fiat Uno ignored? Why was James Andanson’s bizarre death (his charred body, with a hole in the head, was found in a burnt-out car in a forest near his home in southern France in May 2000) dismissed as suicide? Why did it take ten years to hold an inquest? Was Justice Scott Baker fair and impartial in his overseeing of the inquest and its verdict of ‘unlawful killing’? Why did it take so long for the ambulance carrying Diana to arrive at the hospital? Was Diana killed in the ambulance? Why did neither French nor British Police ever seriously consider that something suspicious had happened? While Truth, Lies, Diana doesn’t have any definite answers, it keeps raising these and other curious questions – and airs quite a few theories, some of which even sound plausible. Truth, Lies, Diana runs at London’s Charing Cross Theatre until 14 February 2015.     A global media frenzy Even in death, Princess Diana sells papers. Here are just a few of the articles that have been generated on the back of Truth, Lies, Diana‘s recently aired revelations – not including broadcast or non-English-speaking media. REVIEW ROUND-UP: Diana play ‘clunky’ and ‘clueless’ A controversial new play about Princess Diana’s death has been called “patchy”, “confused” and “clueless” by reviewers. Jon Conway’s “docu-play” Truth, Lies, Diana, writes Dominic… bbc.co.uk TIMES REVIEW: Truth, Lies, Diana How seriously should we take Truth, Lies, Diana? Jon Conway’s “factional” docuplay about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales prompted a tabloid furore even before it opened – not least… thetimes.co.uk TELEGRAPH REVIEW: Truth, Lies, Diana After attracting huge amounts of publicity ahead of its opening night – thanks to reports that it contains revelations concerning James Hewitt – Truth, Lies, Diana, a new playing looking… telegraph.co.uk So is there ANY truth in the tawdry new play about Diana? The new play Truth, Lies, Diana will stoke controversy for many reasons Not only does it delve into the circumstances surrounding her death but also touches on James Hewitt’s role in… dailymail.co.uk How James Hewitt, cad of cads, won me over Like a golden retriever who just will not learn despite being repeatedly smacked down, James Hewitt bounded eagerly back into the public consciousness this week. As an alleged backer of a… telegraph.co.uk Princess Diana Was Pregnant When She Died, Says New Play Multiple theories related to the death of Princess Diana have emerged over the period of time. At the same time, several theories about the Princess’ relationship with Prince Charles are… au.ibtimes.com Those Rumours About Prince Harry’s Real Father Are Back Posted: A new West End play about Princess Diana will claim – yet again – Prince Charles is not Prince Harry’s real father. ‘Truth, Lies, Diana’ will reignite persistent rumours that… huffingtonpost.co.uk Harry’s Daddy, and Diana’s ‘Murder': Royal Rumors Playwright Jon Conway is perhaps not the most convincing man on the planet when he claims to be dismayed at the global coverage his new play Truth, Lies, Diana has received. It contains the… thedailybeast.com Who Is Prince Harry’s Real Father? The British royal family is capping off 2014 with a scandal of epic proportions. In author Jon Conway’s play “Truth, Lies, Diana,” it is alleged that former Household Cavalry officer… ibtimes.com Shock: New Play Reveals Princess Diana Was Pregnant on Night She Died Sensational claims about the death of Princess Diana will be aired in a controversial West End play, which opens this week. Mirror reveals full extraordinary ¬allegations being brought to… standardmedia.co.ke Prince Harry Paternity Scandal: Exposed in New Play The Royal Family seems to be keeping more dark family secrets than we can count on our two hands – and rumor has it that Prince Harry’s paternity is one of them. Is Prince Charles or James… celebdirtylaundry.com Diana WAS pregnant with Dodi’s Child, West End Play Claims Controversial claims made in ‘factional’ play Truth, Lies, Diana Show is centred on fictional playwright investigating Princess’s death It airs claims she was pregnant with ‘Muslim… dailymail.co.uk Diana play Truth, Lies, Diana Branded ‘Tasteless’ by Former Bodyguard A controversial play about Princess Diana has been branded “tasteless” by her former bodyguard. Ken Wharfe rubbished attempts by Truth, Lies, Diana to use naked photos of Prince Harry and… mirror.co.uk VIDEO: First Look at the Controversial New Play – Truth, Lies, Diana During an interview with London Live, the writer briefly shared some dramatic moments from his new production Truth, Lies, Diana. The excerpts performed by actor Fred Perry as James Hewitt… independent.co.uk Shocking New Princess Diana ‘Murder’ Claims Tragic royal death is in the spotlight again A new West End play has brought the death of Princess Diana back under the microscope as it questions whether she was in fact killed. Dubbed a… bestdaily.co.uk

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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