Update 14 December: In line with government guidance, Kensington Palace will be closed from 16 December.
Tickets go on sale today, Thursday 14 November 2019, for “United Queendom” at Kensington Palace. A brand-new immersive theatre experience from internationally renowned theatre company Les Enfants Terribles and independent charity Historic Royal Palaces.
“United Queendom” opens on 28 February 2020 (press night 2 March) and has a strictly limited run, ending on 30 March 2020.
Experience a side of Kensington Palace never seen before and lose yourself in a world of outrageous parties, scandals and gossip. Les Enfants Terribles, the Olivier Award nominated team behind the immersive smash hit “Alice’s Adventures Underground”, are exclusively taking over Kensington Palace for five weeks this Spring. Once visitors have left for the day, the stories of two brilliant women that deserve to be told will be uncovered in the very rooms where their lives unfolded.. “United Queendom” combines Les Enfants Terribles trademark storytelling with a remarkable true story in the historic setting of a royal palace.
An English mistress. A foreign queen. “United Queendom” is the incredible true story of two powerful women often overlooked and forgotten by history; the smart and intelligent Queen Caroline and the enigmatic and passionate Lady Henrietta Howard, told within the palace’s magnificent State Apartments, once home to both women.
Think you know your history? Think again. Two women. Two separate routes through a palace. Two stories. One night.
Step into the court of King George II. He’s decided to celebrate his birthday, but little does he know that his mistress, Lady Henrietta Howard, is about to drop a bombshell. And she’s seeking an audience with his wife Queen Caroline first!
Henrietta, the girl born in Norfolk, who married a drunkard, lost everything and then ascended to everything.
Queen Caroline, one of the first people to inoculate her own children, who introduced Sir Isaac Newton to court and established women only educational forums, is changing the face of court, re-defining what a woman can and should be, and ruling her husband with just the right amount of good advice and steely leadership. But can this queen rise above the constraints faced by women in the 18th Century?
Delving into the world of political intrigue, court games, high drama, scandalous gossip, and smiling through gritted teeth, this immersive theatre show presents you with a choice of two separate journeys highlighting the stories of these brilliant women who might have otherwise been lost in the shadow of their king.
James Seager, Creative Director for Les Enfants Terribles:
“It's incredibly exciting to be 'let loose' in the palace after closing time to bring a modern twist to history and to re-introduce two women who have such modern influences and parallels to the world we live in today. They refused to back down in a male dominated world, refused to be silenced and refused to bow to tradition. They changed the course of history re-defining the role of women at court, fundamentally changing palace life forever in the process. Their stories deserve to be heard and told and we’re looking forward to introducing them to new audiences!”
Emilie Wiseman, Arts and Cultural Programming Manager for Historic Royal Palaces:
“In 2020, we’re going to be exploring history from lots of different perspectives, so we’re excited to be embarking on this new creative partnership with Les Enfants Terribles, offering an opportunity for people to experience Kensington Palace in a new and surprising way. Les Enfant Terribles’ trademark storytelling style will invite visitors to look into the intimate story of these extraordinary women in the spaces they both once inhabited, challenging the traditional narrative of the lives of women in this period.”
“United Queendom” is directed by Christa Harris.
Notes to editors
For more information please contact Cat Steventon in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office [email protected] or 020 3166 6302
Dates: 28 February – 30 March 2020 (Press night 02 March 2020)
Performances: Friday – Monday at 7.00pm; 7.30pm and 8.00pm
Previews (28 February, 29 February 1 March) £35
Friday and Saturday performances: £49/£39 (conc)
Sunday and Monday performances: £45/£35 (conc)
Address: Kensington Palace, W8 4PX, Meet at Queensway Station
Les Enfants Terribles’ work includes award-winning, international stage shows such as “The Trench”, “The Terrible Infants” and “The Vaudevillians”; ground-breaking immersive work including Olivier-nominated “Alice’s Adventures Underground”, “Dinner at the Twits” and “Inside Pussy Riot”; innovative outdoor family touring work such as “The Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie” and “The Fantastical Flying Exploratory Laboratory”; and large-scale public events and installations in the corporate and cultural sectors for the likes of The British Library and the V&A. Run by Oliver Lansley and James Seager the company is dedicated to creating original, innovative and exciting theatre.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk