A woman dressed as Queen Elizabeth stands while a man waves from behind her

Q&A with Brendan Murphy from The Crown – Live!

Up next in the Garner Galleria Theatre is The Crown – Live!, a parody of the popular Netflix series based on the transformation of Elizabeth Windsor into Queen Elizabeth II. The two-person comedy features budding starlet Beth who delivers her own take on the epic story along with her agent (read “sidekick”) Stanley.

The Crown – Live! Photo by Geraint Lewis  

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts had the opportunity to have a conversation with one of the show’s stars, Brendan Murphy, who plays Stanley, for a little insight into the production. 

DCPA: What is The Crown – Live! about in your opinion? 

Murphy: It’s a whirlwind sprint through all four seasons of Netflix’s The Crown as told by a pair of absolute idiots with 40 hats, 200 wigs, two human-size corgis and a variety of accents that chart the whole of the British Isles. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip are the main focus of the show, and even amongst the madcap silliness, their relationship holds the whole thing together. 

DCPA: What can fans of the TV show expect from the production? What about people who have never seen the series? 

The Crown – Live! Photo by Geraint Lewis

Murphy: It’s a right royal romp retelling the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II as seen through the much-loved TV series. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll get all the references, and if you haven’t seen an episode, you’ll leave feeling like you have! If anything, it’ll save you some time… All four seasons in just 80 minutes! 

DCPA: How does The Crown – Live! differ from other theatre work you have done? 

Murphy: I’ve had the honour of working with (writer/director) Dan Clarkson on several shows in the past including the smash hit Potted Potter, so if you’ve seen that you’ll have an idea of what to expect. It’s a fun, frenetic, farce of a show where the audience fully get their money’s worth out of the cast — if only in sweat! The jokes are non-stop, and I genuinely think there’s something for everyone in it. 

The Crown – Live! Photo by Geraint Lewis

DCPA: What are the challenges of a two-person show? 

Murphy: Everything hinges on the other person! Luckily for me, Liz Arends is great and a very supportive performer. And I’d definitely write this even if she wasn’t standing over my shoulder. 

DCPA: Do you have a favorite character or scene? What makes it special? 

Murphy: THE CORGIS. It must be seen to be believed. 

DCPA: How has the Queen’s passing changed your perception of the production, if at all? 

Murphy: The show has always been irreverent and silly in all the best ways, but in the last month I feel it’s become actually quite a loving tribute to the woman in the sparkly hat. Whether you’re pro- or anti-monarchy, I think the show does a great job of celebrating and lampooning one of the most British of institutions. 

The Crown – Live!
Nov. 2 – 20 · Garner Galleria Theatre