After two years of preparation, the Bavarian-born, Britain-raised daughter of a South African father and English mother has just started previews of the musical Diana at the Longacre Theater when their Broadway run was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The show has its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in March 2019.)
“So, this program is about this once-in-a-lifetime princess named Diana,” De Waal told Theater Mania at a cast in February 2020, “and she met her fairytale prince, named Charles. But without her knowledge, he had a love on the side called Camilla. And the story is the working of that relationship in ‘ a lot of public spotlight and what happened. “
De Waal, who is 6 inches shorter than Diana’s 5-foot-10, reads Andrew Morton‘s 1992 biography of the Princess of Wales and spent hours studying YouTube videos to get her voice and manners, including her finishing-school-caliber posture, just right.
“When you try to portray a painful moment at home, or suckle a baby, you do not want people to be like, ‘She looks like she’s on stripper heels,'” De Waal said. New York resident early in 2020. What she observed when she watched the princess in action in old video footage, the actress remarked: “She fights, she survives, but she does those things with her shoulders completely relaxed, and smiles for the cameras.”
Asked why she feels Diana’s story remains worth telling, De Waal, who called it a “dream role”, told Broadway Inbound: “I think the reason people would want to see Diana is because she is still such a big part of our time spirit and a part of our consciousness. And I think we want to celebrate her. ”
Diana is back on Broadway and Netflix in 2021.