Two Old Queens is a theatrical cabaret for two actors and piano accompanist co-devised by John Senczuk and John Michael Swinbank and written by Senczuk with additional material by Swinbank. 

The work has its origins in the 25 year cabaret career of John Michael Swinbank and his fascination with the work of playwright and composer, Noël Coward. Two Old Queens celebrates the friendship between Noël Coward and HM The Queen Mother.

toqSet in the foyer of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1998 on the occasion of the Queen Mother’s unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Coward (25 years after his death), the Queen Mum inadvertently causes the supernatural ‘comeback’ of his ‘blithe’ but cranky spirit. Over a martini or two … or three, they resume their friendship and relive a half-century of magical memories and musical moments, as well as revealing jealously guarded secrets and long-held grudges.

Two Old Queens is much more than just a biographical work. As it unfolds, it becomes an examination of the nature of friendship and how old friends stick together when they’re right and even when they know they’re wrong. Most importantly they know that the truth is important and when it should be told or not.

As the play unfolds, Two Old Queens becomes a joyous celebration of enduring friendship between people who simply know too much about each other to hide the truth and love each other because of it.

The work was written in 2007 and first produced by Mirage Makers, in association with The Blue Room, at The Blue Room Studio, Perth, during October 2007.  The work was subsequently toured to Adelaide (November 2007 for the Adelaide Feast Festival) and Melbourne (Chapel Off Chapel, Main Space, February 2008 for Midsumma Festival).

Image gallery (click to enlarge):

acv acv acv acv acv