Even 21 years after her death, Princess Diana remains one of the most beloved royal figures in history, and has affectionately been called “the People’s Princess.” Princess Diana’s sons have kept her memory alive by continuing her philanthropic efforts and often sharing stories about her. Her story has been told all over the world through books, documentaries, and personal stories. Now it will be told in a fresh way through an upcoming musical telling the story of her life. La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, will be premiering a musical entitled Diana this February. Actress Jeanna de Waal will be playing the coveted role, according to Logo.
Directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley, the musical was written by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan. This infamous team was behind the award-winning musical Memphis. The production is meant to celebrate Princess Diana’s short but powerful life, and the way she used her platform to promote acceptance and inclusiveness.
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Anyone would be honored by the chance to portray such an influential person. However, the role isn’t without its challenges. Everyone has an image in their mind of who Princess Diana was, whether that be based on their own experiences with her or what they’ve learned from the media. Trying to encapsulate such a large personality would certainly be challenging. Nevertheless, Jeanna de Waal knows she is up for the task.
When asked about her feelings regarding taking on the challenge, de Wall claimed she has one mission in mind. She hopes to portray Princess Diana in a new light, opening viewers’ eyes to a new side of the royal. “To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege. I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn’t know about her and weren’t aware of her journey leave the theater with an idea of what she did for the world. She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her,” the actress said according to Vanity.
Christopher Ashley has no doubts that de Waal was the right choice for the role. He was looking for someone who truly possessed the traits that Princess Diana is known for and de Waal does. “A rising star on Broadway, British actress Jeanna de Waal embodies all these traits and more, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her on board as we develop this extraordinary new musical at the Playhouse,” he said.