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Two Old Queens


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Two Old Queens

Dates: 16/10/2007 - 16/02/2008

Location: Perth and National Tour

A Cabaret by John Senczuk
Music by Noel Coward

Produced by Mirage Makers

HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother – Edgar Metcalfe
Noel Coward – John Michael Swinbank

Written and Directed by John Senczuk

Lyrics and Music by Noel Coward

Pianiast – Tim Cunniffe, Mark Coughlan (Subiaco season)


Read the script for Two Old Queens


The most thrilling royal expose since ‘Cammilagate’!
Described by critics as “a right royal outrageous riot”, Two Old Queens is a musical charade about a brief encounter between HM the Queen Mother and the ghost of her old friend, theatrical legend Sir Noël Coward. 

In this high-spirited musical romp, the Queen Mother has a brief encounter with the ghost of her old friend, theatrical legend Sir Noel Coward. Over a martini or two … or three, they relive a half-century of magical memories and musical moments. It’s cocktails and laughter, banter and song, until a faux pas unleashes a right royal bun-fight between the greatest queens of England. Not for nothing did Hitler declare her “the most dangerous woman in Europe” while moving Coward to the very top of the Nazi death list.
Two Old Queens is an hilarious situational cabaret with a contemporary resonance. “Fusing elements of cabaret and drawing room comedy, Two Old Queens is a unique from in itself, embodying situational and musical comedy with a blend of nostalgia, sentiment and contemporary wit - just like Coward!

Attending the 1998 dedication of Coward’s memorial statue, the Queen Mother - overtaken by a ‘senior moment’ - inadvertently causes the supernatural ‘comeback’ of his ‘blithe’ but cranky spirit. Over a martini or two … or three, they resume their friendship and relive a half-century of magical memories and musical moments, as well as revealing jealously guarded secrets and long-held grudges.

Blue Room, Perth 16 October – 3 November [Pride Festival]
Little Theatre, Adelaide 11- 17 November, 2007 [Adelaide Feast Festival]
Subiaco Theatre, Perth 5 January – 2 February, 2008
Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne 5-10 February, 2008
Riverside Theatre, Parramatta 15-16 February, 2008



“A battle of wits by two accomplished actors.”The Advertiser

“Metcalfe is marvellous as the Queen Mum and JMS a clipped acidic Coward.” Sunday Mail

“This is a great characterisation by a great actor [Edgar Metcalfe] in the prime of his craft ...” Sunday Mail

At the base of it all it’s relationships that count – whether you are a Queen or a queen. This is what is presented in this fine production of a well wrought play by John Senczuk about a redoubtable relationship of two flagships of Empire. Their mutual admiration, their rivalry - indeed their love - was nicely, humorously, charmingly and indeed respectfully portrayed by these two fine actors. … Edgar Metcalfe is superb as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. His portrayal never falters, and by the end of the show one is hard put to believe it wasn’t really HM herself on the stage, and who one would be pleased to invite into one’s ordinary suburban living room, as long as there was plenty of gin to hand. …The play is peppered with Coward songs and quotes from Coward plays to titivate the cognoscenti, as it took a peek into the Private Lives of these two Blythe Spirits and their Bitter Sweet relationship. The Cavalcade of Words and Music hung together well, sensitively accompanied by Tim Cuniffe at the pianoforte. The audience is handed plenty of excuses for Present Laughter, as well as poignant moments in Mad about the Boy and I’ll See You Again. …This is a charming, amusing, respectful and nostalgic piece, elegantly written and acted, and well worthwhile. The audience could Sail Away with the feeling of having been to a Marvellous Party.
    Peter Bleby, Australian Stage

The script is full of interesting Royal revelations with pert little injections of humour and favourite Coward songs. It is sure to be a Feast Hit.
 Samela Harris, Adelaide Advertiser