Stephen Daldry directs Helen Mirren in the world premiere of Peter Morgan's The Audience.
For 60 years, Elizabeth II has met each of her 12 Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Unlike any other meeting in British public life, it is a private affair. 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 of The Audience
The Audience marks the second time actress Helen Mirren has played the British monarch, having won an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for her role in the 2006 film, the screenplay for which was also written by Morgan. Her on stage credits include A Month In The Country, Dance Of Death, Mourning Becomes Electra and Phèdre.
Haydn Gwynne is reunited with Stephen Daldry having played Mrs Wilkinson in the world premiere of Billy Elliot The Musical, a role she recreated on Broadway, winning the Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Her other theatre credits include Queen Elizabeth I in Richard III in Sam Mendes' The Bridge Project, Susan in Becky Shaw at the Almeida Theatre and Mrs Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor in Greg Doran's Royal Shakespeare Company production.
Paul Ritter has recently been seen at the National Theatre in Marianne Elliot's sell-out production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. His other theatre credits include The Norman Conquests and The Birthday Party in the West End and Accidental Death of An Anarchist for the Donmar Warehouse. His film credits include Nowhere Boy, Quantum of Solace, The Libertine and The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz.
Theatre, film and television actor Robert Hardy has previously played Churchill seven times, including Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and most recently in Celui qui a dit Non in Paris in French. His extensive theatre career includes four seasons in Stratford for the Royal Shakespeare Company and two seasons at the Old Vic.
- Stephen Daldry
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