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Helen Mirren (Photo: Giles Keyte)

Helen Mirren (Photo: Giles Keyte)

Mirren given West End Audience

Published 21 September 2012

Helen Mirren will be crowned Queen of the London stage next spring, when she plays Elizabeth II in the world premiere of Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience.

The show, which will run at the Gielgud theatre from 15 February until 15 June, will examine one of the most secret meetings in British public life, the weekly discussion between the Queen and the Prime Minister that has been held for the last 60 years, the content of which is never disclosed, even to the pair’s spouses.

From Winston Churchill to David Cameron, The Audience imagines what might have been said in those pivotal meetings, the confessions given and questions asked by Prime Ministers, and the advice, suggestions and occasional teasing offered by the Queen.

When Mirren steps on stage at the Gielgud theatre, it will be the second time in her career that she has played the current monarch, having won an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in Morgan’s silver screen offering The Queen. Her full house queen’s named Elizabeth also includes playing the title role in television’s Elizabeth I. Her most recent stage appearances include Dance Of Death, Mourning Becomes Electra and Phèdre.

The actress, whose film credits include Gosford Park and The Long Good Friday, will be directed in The Audience by Stephen Daldry, the former Royal Court Artistic Director whose theatrical credits include Billy Elliot The Musical and An Inspector Calls. Daldry’s busy summer included working as Creative Executive Producer of the Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Fittingly enough, The Audience opens at the Gielgud following the successful run of this summer’s sport-themed hit Chariots Of Fire. The tale of two athletes competing for glory at the 1924 Olympic Games, for which the venue has been redesigned to include a running track, continues until 2 February.

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