The Empress

The Empress London Reviews and Tickets

(6 Ratings)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Slow, Confusing, Absorbing, Great staging

About the Show

A new production of Tanika Gupta's drama exploring British Asian experiences in the 19th Century.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (5)

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69 Reviews | 3 Followers
Sincere, Relevant, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you enjoy a thought-provoking piece that is a powerful voice challenging discrimination and diversity that are still valid today.

Don't see it if you cannot sit through longer plot lines with extended monologues and expositional scenes, or prefer something less tonally heavy. Read more

26 Reviews | 0 Followers
Disappointing, Confusing, Dated

See it if You want to be bored

Don't see it if You dont want to see it

19 Reviews | 0 Followers
Dated, Confusing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like a period piece with a modern twist.

Don't see it if You get confused easily, I did find it a little hard to follow the plot. Read more

7 Reviews | 0 Followers
Funny, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like the RSC’s productions, you enjoy history and finding out about people you don’t know much about.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy a straight play.

103 Reviews | 5 Followers
During previews
Thought-provoking, Slow, Intelligent, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you want an epic drama which tells two stories side-by-side, that of Queen Victoria & Abdul Karim and also the Indian experience in the UK

Don't see it if you want a strictly accurate timeline, some characters are presented at not totally precise times (the programme acknowledges this) Read more

Critic Reviews (5)

October 11th, 2023

“There’s a lot of history to be found in ‘The Empress’ three-hour running time. Perhaps some scenes could be tightened and the ending, which ends a bit abruptly with Abdul’s dismissal, could leave us with some hope for Asha’s future. And the future of other young Indians on British soil.”
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The London Evening Standard
October 11th, 2023

“ ‘The Empress’ is a useful and engaging probe into parts of British history some factions would rather see left alone. If only it were bolder and pacier.”
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Time Out London
October 11th, 2023

“The biggest problem with ‘The Empress’ is that there are a lot of big figures in it, but not all of them feel as fleshed out as Rani and Victoria...Still, Ghai‘s decision to treat ‘The Empress’ like a straight historical drama is probably the right one – it’s a pacy, engrossing show, and if it might have worked even better as a six-part BBC drama, then that’s very much a recommendation.”
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London Theatre
October 11th, 2023

“This part of British Asian history is extremely important and should certainly be taught in schools, but for drama to thrive, it needs more dynamism and a greater emotional connection.”
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All That Dazzles (UK)
October 13th, 2023

“Whilst there are some pacing issues in the play, this is still a hugely successful piece. Witty and illuminating it explores a topic I have seldom seen explored in the theatre...There is plenty of compelling material and a wonderful cast, ‘The Empress’ tells that deserve to be told. Yet, could and should be explored further for a deeper understanding of the experience of Indian people in the era of empire.”
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