Adelaide Fringe 2013
Katie Owen-Jones is floundering through life, trying to find her place in the world. But is being the Duchess of Cambridge’s look-alike the way to do it? After consulting her agent, personal trainer, friends and the Duchess herself she is no closer to finding out who either Kate Middleton or Katie Owen-Jones is. It is a funny, whimsical journey that probes the question of identity and realising one’s dreams.
Katie Owen-Jones is in her late-twenties, still living with her father, and despite attending a prestigious all-girl school is no closer to knowing what she wants to do in life. Acting seemed like a sensible career, but even an audition for a constipation medication commercial fails miserably. The only thing going for her is the fact that she resembles Kate Middleton and ends up impersonating her at events and parties that the Duchess herself cannot attend as her time is too valuable for such things.
Eventually the Royal Family recognise Katie’s good work and she is requested to attend a polo match to prove that she can handle the pressure. This is a make or break event for Katie, but even thinking about the match (and the fact that Prince Harry will be there!) proves to be too much. Her agent, personal trainer, close friends, and a has-been cockney actress provide useless information, caught up in the dramas of their own lives, and Katie has to rely on her own wits to make it through the day successfully.
The fabulously talented Katie Reddin-Clancy plays the roles of the protagonist, the self-absorbed agent, the personal trainer on a verge of a breakdown, best friend Scarlet who is hassled by the paparazzi and flustered by her turbulent career, and an ageing cockney actress who cannot let go of the past. Reddin-Clancy executes fantastic depictions of each of these very different characters and slips into each role with ease and certainty.
Although the story takes a while to develop and reach the climax, Reddin-Clancy is entertaining throughout and punctuates the self-effacing comedy with depth and meaning. She asks herself whether being an actress and royal look-alike will get her any closer to realising her own dreams—fundamentally, self-realisation is something that everyone struggles with at some point and it is at these moments, when Reddin-Clancy’s character is vulnerable and exposed, that the audience connects with her.
Although the set was sparse the costume and character changes broke the monotony of monologue, and the minimal props were used minimally to add context to the scenes. The dim lighting between scenes created a feeling of disjointedness, and filler music was somewhat vague and irrelevant to each character; however, this was forgotten as the audience was drawn back into the story and new character.
Kate Middleton Show Queen is a bittersweet show about finding one’s place in life and learning from experiences, good and bad, to be a stronger person. It is also a display of talent, wit, and the use of fundamental themes to engage the audience. Fantastic delivery and zeal!