The Queen's Knickers: Ustinov Studio, Bath
The Queen's Knickers
Ustinov Studio, Bath
Knickers! Just say the word to small children and they will erupt into giggles. Give them a whole 50 minutes of silliness devoted to not just any old knickers but those that adorn the royal posterior and there's no end to the merriment.
And we're talking here of knickers for every occasion – riding, weddings, flower shows, school visits (but not a pair with answers on as that would be cheating).
There are so many pairs that a royal custodian of the queen's knickers is required to clean them, fold them and look after them. This is Dilys (Kate Copeland), and a very good job she does until she acquires a friend who is the queen's biggest fan (Heather Saunders).
Together they get very silly indeed, playing numerous characters in a series of fast-paced sketches, daft songs, music and mime.
Then one day the knickers go missing, causing a national state of emergency, which they hilariously act out using knickers (what else?) as props. Even the royal corgis – wonderful puppets – are brought into the search.
Without the correct briefs the queen must sit in a darkened room and miss her school visit (to St Knickerless, of course) until her biggest fan points out that no one can see them and so it doesn't matter what kind of knickers she wears.
And the penny drops in the royal cogitations – one could wear plain white ones from M&S and no one would know.
Kate Copeland and Heather Saunders are quite brilliant in this charming adaptation of Nicholas Allan's eponymous book, directed by the ever-imaginative Lee Lyford. From start to finish the pair provide captivating anarchic entertainment for everyone from pre-schoolers to grannies.
The Queen's Knickers is a delightful start to the Family Theatre Festival that runs until Saturday February 23. The show itself is on at the Ustinov Studio until Saturday February 16, and then it goes off to London before returning to the egg theatre for a week on February 26.