Helen Mirren’s return to the role of royalty in Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience will reach a much wider… audience than previously thought possible as it will be screened in cinemas worldwide as part of National Theatre Live.
Drama fans who are unable to see the theatrical Dame play the Queen on stage at the Gielgud theatre, where the show runs until 15 June, will be able to see the production streamed live to big screens around the country on 13 June, with future international and encore dates following throughout the summer.
The production, which has reportedly sold nearly £4 million of tickets, explores the private meetings held between the Queen and her Prime Ministers during her 60 year reign. Though not all of the prominent politicians of the six decades are featured, Winston Churchill (Robert Hardy), Anthony Eden (Michael Elwyn), Harold Wilson (Richard McCabe), Margaret Thatcher (Haydn Gwynne), John Major (Paul Ritter), Gordon Brown (Nathaniel Parker), and David Cameron (Rufus Wright) all make an appearance, as do some possibly scene-stealing corgis.
Written by Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Deal) and directed by Stephen Daldry (An Inspector Calls, Billy Elliot The Musical), The Audience will become the third non-National Theatre production to be screened by NT Live, following the scheme’s successful partnerships with the Donmar Warehouse production of King Lear, starring Derek Jacobi, and Complicite’s A Disappearing Number.
Since NT Live launched in 2009 with its production of Phèdre, which also starred Mirren, more than one million people worldwide have enjoyed a screening across 23 countries. Following The Audience, this year’s planned broadcasts include Alan Bennett’s latest comedy People (21 March) and James Graham’s acclaimed political drama This House (16 May).