A Supernatural Comedy about Friendship
A Play with Music in Two Acts
A WORK COMMISSIONED BY
JOHN MICHAEL SWINBANK
For all show enquiries, please contact
CHRISTOPHER KEELY, BUSINESS AFFAIRS DIRECTOR – MIRAGE MAKERS
Two Old Queens is a joyous celebration of enduring friendship between two people who know too much about each other to hide the truth… for long. Attending the commemoration of theatre legend, the late Noël Coward, The Queen Mother – overtaken by a ‘senior moment’ – inadvertently unleashes his ‘blithe’ but cranky spirit.
With her ghostly old friend by her side, she zooms about her royal duties from Clarence House to Balmoral, Jamaica to Scotland with renewed relish, reliving magical memories and rehashing ancient grudges while knocking back a slew of martinis that would make a guardsman blush.
But why has he come back and what is the unfinished business that haunts them both? It’s cocktails, corgis and laughter at Magic Hour, until a chance faux pas begins the unraveling of a half century of jealously guarded secrets and a right royal bun fight to rival the Wars of the Roses reveals why they are among the greatest Queens of England.
Two Old Queens is much more than just a biographical work. As it unfolds, it becomes a comic and poignant meditation on the very nature of friendship and how old friends stick together even when they’re falling apart. They know that telling the truth is vital to any relationship, but when it should be told or not is another thing!
Two Old Queens has its origins in the cabaet career of actor/singer/writer John Michael Swinbank, who, at the beginning of his performing career with the University Dramatic Society at The University of Western Australia in 1982, began examining aspects of the public and private personas of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Sir Noël Coward in a series of cabaret seasons at The Dolphin and The Octagon theatres. This forged a 30 year international cabaret career dedicated to Coward’s repertoire. John Michael and longtime accompanist, Tim Cunniffe made their West End debut for the Noël Coward Society in 2009.
In 2007, Mirage Makers developed, commissioned and produced a one act cabaret/play of Two Old Queens as a workshop production at the Blue Room Theatre in Perth, Western Australia with the first performance on Thursday, 11 October, with John Michael (as Coward) and his old friend and mentor, Edgar Metcalfe as The Queen Mother.
Following a tour to Adelaide (Little Theatre) in November 2007, the production was remounted in January 2008 in Perth (Subiaco Arts Centre), prior to touring Melbourne (Chapel Off Chapel) and Sydney (Riverside Theatres) for the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival. The Director of Riverside Theatres, Robert Love exclaimed “Two Old Queens is a show made in heaven!”
In the 2008 Blue Room Awards, MIRAGE MAKERS won the Best Box Office Award for its box-office record-breaking run Two Old Queens - a record that still stands.
- Mirage Makers, Best Box Office Award, 2008 Blue RoomTheate Awards, Perth
- Edgar Metcalfe, Horatio Award for Best Character Study Award, The Sunday Mail Adelaide 2007
- Edgar Metcalfe (nominated) Best Actor in 2008 WA Equity Guild Awards, Perth 2008
Image gallery (click to enlarge):
Photography and Videography by Nigel Etherington.
TWO OLD QUEENS is a MIRAGE MAKERS PRODUCTION.
Please contact Business Affairs Director, Christopher Keely firstname.lastname@example.org