The Courtyard Theatre presents Tea with the Old Queen

The Courtyard Theatre presents Tea with the Old Queen, the fictional diaries of Backstairs Billy, by Graham Woolnough on Friday 11 April.

This superb and hilarious one man show starring Ian Stark, is based upon the fictitious ‘secret’ diaries of ‘old queen’ William Tallon, one time Steward and Page of the Backstairs to HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

During 40 years of service Billy, with discretion and diplomacy tidied up every little Royal mishap. He played Dame in the Christmas Panto, danced with ‘Her Maj’ and even sprayed air freshener whenever Prince Philip ‘let one off’.

We hear all the secrets – Princess Anne refusing to stop smoking indoors – even after the fire at Windsor, ‘Her Maj’ welcoming Chinese Ambassadors Mr Woo and Mr Wang, and the visit by Tony and Cherie Blair when a salt shaker went missing!

“Cheeky. That’s the one word I would use to describe Tea With the Old Queen, a lively, irreverent, sometimes naughty, often hilarious look at the royal family through the eyes of a loyal servant, William.”

FringeGuru **** review (September 2013)

“Graham Woolnough’s lusciously bizarre backstage peek at the lives of royalty is a theatrical treat for those with any political disposition. In a speedy 50 minutes, Ian Stark’s Backstage Billy pinpoints the highs and lows of a career serving the Queen Mother. Stark encapsulates the batty upper-class with bracing energy and comic intelligence, all the while never undermining an adorable and very real sense of satisfaction he received from a career spanning 40 years in service.”

Broadway Baby **** review (September 2013)

Ticket prices to see Tea With the Old Queen at The Courtyard Theatre on Friday 11 April 2014 at 8pm are £12, and £10 concession. Book online at or phone Box Office on 028 9034 0217.