Internationally acclaimed actress Helen Mirren's performance as The Queen in the world premiere of Peter Morgan's THE AUDIENCE, directed by Stephen Daldry, will be seen by cinema audiences worldwide when National Theatre Live broadcasts the play live from London's Gielgud Theatre on June 13, 2013, with varying dates internationally and encore screenings throughout the summer. THE AUDIENCE reunites Mirren and Morgan after collaborating on the 2006 film The Queen, in which Mirren also portrayed Elizabeth II, winning the Academy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and BAFTA Awards for Best Actress for her performance.
THE AUDIENCE marks National Theatre Live's third partnership with another British theatre production, following the highly successful broadcasts of the Donmar Warehouse's King Lear with Derek Jacobi and Complicite's A Disappearing Number. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre also starring Helen Mirren, over one million people have now experienced the National's work on movie screens worldwide.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace - a meeting like no other in British public life - it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses.
THE AUDIENCE breaks this contract of silence - and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional - sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. In turn, the Queen can't help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases.
From young mother to grandmother these private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age. Politicians come and go through the revolving door of electoral politics, while she remains constant, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister.
The cast also includes Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown, Paul Ritter as John Major and Rufus Wright as David Cameron. The Equerry is Geoffrey Beevers with Bebe Cave, Maya Gerber and Nell Williams alternating as Young Elizabeth.
THE AUDIENCE is now running at London's Gielgud Theatre and is currently booking to June 15, 2013 (www.theaudienceplay.com). Designs are by Bob Crowley, lighting is by Rick Fisher and sound is by Paul Arditti; it is produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries.