TEA WITH THE OLD QUEEN
What the Queen Mother wouldn’t like you to know –
About TEA WITH THE OLD QUEEN
Tea with the Old Queen is a witty and poignant theatrical comedy revolving around the eccentricities of the UK’s Monarchy as recorded in the fictional, secret diaries of Willam Tallon. For more than 40 years he worked as ‘Steward and Page’ at Clarence House the Queen Mother’s residence and became known as Backstairs Billy. He passed away a few years after the Queen Mother, taking with him all his secrets, or so everyone thought …
Tea with the Old Queen is a one man theatrical comedy written and directed by the award winning writer Graham Woolnough and stars its current protagonist Ian Starks. The play has entertained many audiences over the years in the UK, in such venues as Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s West End (2016), Newcastle Theatre (2014), Bridlington Spa (2012), Guildford’s Yvonne Arnauld Theatre (2012), Edinburgh Fringe (2012) King's Head Theatre London (2010) and many more.
British Theatre Guide: ★★★★★
Remote Goat Theatre Guide: ★★★★★
Broadway Baby Theatrical Review: ★★★★
Three Weeks Edinburgh Show Guide: ★★★★
London Evening Standard: ★★★
Bio of the actor Ian Stark
Ian Stark first appeared on stage at the very early age five, when he played one of the Snow children in Carousel, opposite Bonnie Langford who was four years old at that time. Later in his adult life, Ian’s stage career included roles such as Professor Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady), Bill Sikes and Fagin (Oliver), Nathan Detroit (Guys & Dolls), Horace Vandergelder (Hello Dolly), Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance), Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), P.T. Barnum (Barnum), Ali Hakim and Judd Fry (Oklahoma), Vice Principal Panch (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Samuel Byck in the five star reviewed production of Stephen Sondheim’s comic musical Assassins. Ian opened Tea with the Old Queen at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This was to great critical acclaim, as for example The Times selected it from among 2,500 productions as one of their Top Ten Must See shows, and subsequently it has toured the length and breadth of the UK. Through his long and celebrated career, Ian has been honoured with a wide range of awards, such as five Swan Awards for Best Actor.
Bio of the writer and director Graham Woolnough
Graham Woolnough started his stage work with sketches and gags for Les Dennis Laughter Show, News Huddlines, BBC Scotland, and BBC TV’s Student Choice which won the Royal Television Society Award three times. Subsequently, his sitcom One Night Up Front was commissioned by Carlton as well as Sadly and Daughter. Also, Cine TV Paris optioned his political satire Brussels Bound for Canal Plus in France, after which he worked on The Tale of Tzar Saltan for stage and video in Dublin, Munich and St. Petersburg. In 2004, Graham received the Comedy Writer of the Year Award for his comedy-drama Matt & Cindy (presented at the British Academy for Film, Television and Arts, BAFTA), which was later developed at BBC Scotland. Graham wrote and directed the short film Bench (screened at the Notting Hill Film Festival and BAFTA), Reunion (shown at the Cannes Film Festival), and the feature film project Flaith (for BBC's Tony Doyle Bursary). His play Tea with the Old Queen, which he wrote, directed and produced back then, toured throughout the UK and received many enthusiastic reviews. Graham is a member of BAFTA, the Concert Artists Association, and the Writers Guild of Great Britain.
Photos from the play
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