Jeanna De Waal Set To Portray Princess Diana In New ‘Diana’ Musical

Jeanna de Waal performs at the 2015 Tony Awards in Time Square.
Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

The news came out in June that a new musical production centered on the life of the late Princess Diana was in the works. According to Vanity Fair on Thursday, the new production, titled Diana, has chosen which star will play the princess in the musical, which will be premiered in La Jolla next February. Jeanna de Waal is the chosen British actress and singer and is very excited about the event.

“To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege,” said de Waal of the role.

Apparently, the 30-year-old actress has gotten a chance to portray Princess Diana before, in a public reading at Vassar College last June. De Waal’s Broadway career includes playing roles in Kinky Boots and American Idiot. Jeanna has also done some work off the stage, in the Carrie movie and the Wicked traveling production, says Vanity Fair. In an interview, director of the musical Christopher Ashley said he is on board with the choice as well.

“For this iconic role, we were looking for someone who could portray Princess Diana’s incredible warmth and poise, along with her deep inner resolve to forge her own identity in the highly controlled environment of the royal family,” said the director.

“A rising star on Broadway, British actress Jeanna de Waal embodies all these traits and more, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her on board as we develop this extraordinary new musical at the Playhouse.”

Princess Diana at Aintree racecourse in 1982.
The Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) at Aintree racecourse for the Grand National in 1982. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Hello Magazine reported a little more scoop on the upcoming musical in June. Apparently, the production is set in 1981 when Princess Diana was in her 20s. It will explore the relationship between Diana and Prince Charles, even addressing his alleged affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. The story will also include Diana’s relationship with the press. The production’s website gives a taunting description of the story.

“Following her fairytale union, Princess Diana faces a distant husband, an unmovable monarchy and overwhelming media scrutiny. But her modern perspective and remarkable compassion galvanizes a nation, even as it threatens the royal family’s hold on England,” states the description.

The production is scheduled to run from February 19, 2019, to March 31, 2019, says Hello Magazine. The theater is located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla. Apparently, productions that began in this theater have proven successful and have gone on to Broadway status.

According to Broadway.com, the production is backed by the same team that created the award-winning musical Memphis. Additional casting for Diana will be announced at a later date.