Julian Glover, as retired jeweller Maurice, heads a strong cast in Nichola McAuliffe’s comedy drama. The play is in two acts and centres on the theme of diamond jubilees.
In the opening act we are introduced to the three principals. Maurice is two months away from his 90th birthday but is terminally ill. He and his wife Helena have taken into their employ a palliative care nurse. Though he knows death is near, he still maintains a sense of humour with quips and jokes.
In conversation with the nurse, she tells him he may only have a few weeks left. His mood turns more serious. He must stay alive until his 90th birthday which happens to fall on the day before the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee since he has an appointment to have tea with the Queen. Far-fetched or what!
He remembers movingly an evening he spent several hours alone with the young Queen on the night before the Coronation. In his capacity as a jeweller, he had visited the Palace to check the fitting of the crown. He and the Queen had formed a friendly relationship – no impropriety had taken place. Nevertheless, the Queen had made a compact to visit him 60 years later. Neither Helena nor the nurse believes Maurice that this meeting is likely to happen.
The second act opens on the day of Maurice’s birthday. He has made it. Helena goes along with Maurice’s preparations. He is dressed in his best suit. All the tubes have been removed. At the appointed time, the doorbell rings. Helena curtseys and the Queen enters – or is it?
No more details from me, except to say the play entertains right to the very end.
Reviewed by Ben
Pleasance Courtyard: 33
1 to 27 August 2012 (not 14 & 21)
16.25 – 18.05
Fringe Programme Page Number: 296