Title: The Audience
Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Helen Mirren, Michael Elwyn, Haydn Gwynne, Richard McCabe, Nathaniel Parker, Paul Ritter, Rufus Wright, Edward Fox, David Peart, Geoffrey Beevers, Bebe Cave, Maya Gerber, Nell Williams, Charlotte Moore, Harry Feltham, Matt Plumb, Spencer Kitchen, Elaine Solomon, Jonathan Coote, Ian Houghton, Jenny Ogilvie.
‘The Audience’ is an extraordinary experience that welds the noble art of theatre with that of film-making. The story spills out from the quill of Oscar nominated writer Peter Morgan and the direction of three-time Academy Award nominated and Tony award winning Stephen Daldry. The play screened live on June 13 from the Gielgud Theatre and was broadcast to cinemas around the globe that same day, marking a record breaker for National Theatre Live, since the performance was viewed by 110,000 people in movie theatres.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly private audience at Buckingham Palace. 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. 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 the Queen remains constant, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister.
The divine Helen Mirren embodies once more Queen Elizabeth II impeccably, in every move, tone and stage of life (between the ages of 25 and 87). The great actress is surrounded by an incredible cast who interprets each role with meticulous care for pronunciation, gestures and facial expressions. The play is ecstatically witty and humorous and consecrates the royal lead actress – star of stage and screen – forthwith star of stage on-screen.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi