What the Queen Mother wouldn’t like you to know – the fictional secret diaries of Backstairs Billy!
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.
What the press says about us:
Director Graham Woolnough has created a touching and delightful production and Ian Stark should become a national treasure. This is one invitation to tea you should certainly accept.”
British Theatre Guide: ★★★★★
The script is superb, the acting faultless and a very happy audience rolled along lovingly as Billy spilled the beans.
Remote Goat Theatre Guide: ★★★★★
A theatrical treat for those with any political disposition… Ian Stark’s Backstage Billy pinpoints the highs and lows of a career serving the Queen Mother. Tea with the old Queen is compellingly outrageous and significant.
Broadway Baby Theatrical Review: ★★★★
A clever and well-structured script, professionally performed… an opulently furnished set… a noble piece of tittle-tattle. Cheers.
Three Weeks Edinburgh Show Guide: ★★★★
Ian Stark’s performance is constantly engaging… the writing is lively… Woolnough, who also directed the show, provides plenty of wit and Stark’s energetic flare ensures it is never a chore to sit through… amusing and well delivered.
London Evening Standard: ★★★