top of page

The Old Queen’s Head | New Wimbledon Theatre Studio

On a rainy, grey and frankly grim evening in Wimbledon, The Old Queen’s Head proved to be a welcome warm tonic to a cold London night. Writer and performer David Patterson’s show opens on a red carpet, flanked by four pillars that hold a unique melange of items from a queer poetry collection to some (hopefully not used) budgie smugglers to the Pièce de resistance, a prominent bust of Queen Lizzie the Second herself. The stage is fabulously set for a night of seeing what happens when you come out while grappling with the voice of Queen Elizabeth II in your head.

It might seem an odd connection, coming out and Queen Elizabeth the II, however, Patterson is a quick-witted and clever performer and writer and this unlikely premise…works. Patterson monologues of a childhood spent idolising things that appear regally flamboyant and thus is drawn to the Queen (over Princess Margaret of course), yet what makes this concept so touching is that Patterson shared this passion for majesty with his grandmother.

When audiences learn that pretending to be the Queen, having teddy bear tea-parties and dressing up in his grandma’s clothing was an integral part of the bonding between grandma and grandchild, you can immediately understand exactly why the connection between David and Elizabeth II is so strong. This is one of the strengths of the piece, the ongoing exploration of the relationship between David and his grandma, a dynamic that both unique and relatable.

When David grows up and begins to explore his sexuality at university, the voice of Queen Liz that occupies his head wants David to “fit in” and do the thing that is expected of him in order to be liked, yet David finds himself increasingly drawn to wanting to stand out and pave out his own path. Shrewdly, Patterson comments that those voices that try and keep us in line and in a certain lane can sometimes be to protect us, so instead of branding this voice as pure negativity, Patterson finds meaningful nuance with Elizabeth being both the devil and angel on his shoulder.

Patterson is a natural comic, and the script boasts moments of genuine hilarity, smart observations and moving moments of real feeling. Indeed, The Old Queen’s Head is a touching coming-out narrative encrusted with diamonds, glitter and poppers with a

whole lot of heart.

The Old Queen’s Head runs at New Wimbledon Theatre until 25th May - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review


bottom of page