Diana The Musical heading to London with Denise Welch in role of the late Queen

The Broadway musical was launched on streaming platform Netflix in 2020.
The Broadway musical was launched on streaming platform Netflix in 2020.

Diana: The Musical is headed to the West End and will star Loose Women panellist Denise Welch as Queen Elizabeth II.

Opening on Monday December 4, the Broadway production chronicling the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be staged at the Eventim Apollo in London.

Diana will be played by actress Kerry Ellis, who is best known as the first British actress to take on the lead role of Elphaba in Wicked.

Maiya Quansah-Breed, who was nominated for an Olivier in her role as Catherine Parr in the musical Six, will also play Diana, starring as a 19-year-old version of the princess.

Waterloo Road star Welch, who is mother to The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, makes a return to the theatre in her role as the late Queen, having previously starred in the 2018 Calendar Girls UK Tour.

Detailing Diana’s life in the limelight, the musical will feature 80s inspired show tunes with music from Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan and lyrics by Joe DiPietro – the team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis.

Audiences will watch as a fictional Diana reflects on her past, including her relationship to the Prince of Wales, as she signs her divorce papers in search of a new life.

The musical was first staged at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre in 2021, with actress Jeanna de Waal in the lead role.

Diana inquest
The life of Princess Diana takes centre stage in a new original musical starring Kerry Ellis, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Denise Welch (PA Archive/ Stefan Rousseau)

In 2020, the opening of the show was delayed due to Covid restrictions and cast and crew filmed for an empty audience, with streaming platform Netflix launching the production online.

Slated to open in December, the West End version of Diana: The Musical will be audiences’ first time watching live in the UK.

Diana was born Diana Frances Spencer in 1961 and was married to the former Prince of Wales until 1996 when they reached a divorce agreement.

Pursued by the paparazzi in Paris a year later, Diana died in a car crash, aged 36.

Her life and story features in The Crown, a fictional Netflix drama about the Royal Family.

Many other programmes and films have been made about Diana, including the 2021 film, Spencer, which stars Twilight actress Kristen Stewart.