The Queen And The Princess

The Queen And The Princess

*

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

The comedy of discomfort is firmly entrenched now, after the successes and praise lavished upon The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Queen And The Princess is more of this, an unpleasant encounter between an oversharing narcissist and her depressed and vulnerable progeny.

The Queen is writer Gregor Johnstone in a wig and a red dress, a character made of grotesque mummery. Her daughter is an art school student, recently broken up, trying to determine if she is doing the right thing. The Queen isn't helping. She's overly intimate, disturbingly sexual, a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a teenager pretending to be someone's friend. Artifice is piled on top of innuendo, reaching a crescendo when the Queen displays her most recent painting.

This is Gregor Johnstone's d├ębut, and while it shows some promise it could perhaps have done with a firmer hand. It was written and shot in just a day. It isn't the lack of polish that offends but the feeling that it could have done with a second pass. Some reflection, some consideration.

You may laugh, but it's at the joke written on an ice lolly stick stuck under a fingernail. This is unpleasant, deliberately so, but the nervous laughter of an awkward situation is distinct from that brought about by humour. It can be funny, but there's a sense that the joke is on the audience.

Reviewed on: 24 Feb 2009
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A black comedy focusing on the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter.
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Director: Gregor Johnstone

Writer: Gregor Johnstone

Year: 2008

Runtime: 8 minutes

Country: UK

Festivals:

Glasgow 2009

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