Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, An Inspector Calls) directs multi-award winning actress Helen Mirren in a world premiere of Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience. Imagining a series of pivotal, confessional meetings, The Audience sees Queen Elizabeth meet and greet past Prime Ministers that have led the country throughout her reign. Opening at London’s Gielgud Theatre in February 2013, The Audience is a fascinating insight into the imagined behind-the-scenes of the Queen’s reign.
For over sixty years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her twelve Prime Ministers in explicitly private meetings at Buckingham Palace. Both parties agree to never repeat the content of these meetings, not even to their spouses. The Audience brings to life these meetings, imagining the confessions, outbursts and consolations of each meeting, as well as the relationships between each pairing. Sometimes intimate and sometimes explosive, The Audience charts the journey of the second Elizabeth Age; as the door of politics revolves, the Queen remains the only constant.
The Audience marks the second time Helen Mirren has starred as the Queen; previously playing the monarch in the 2006 film (also written by Peter Morgan), for which she earned an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA. Further cast members include Haydn Gwynne (Billy Elliot) as Margaret Thatcher, Edward Fox as Winston Churchill, Paul Ritter as John Major, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown, Rufus Wright as David Cameron, Michael Elwyn as Antony Eden, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, Geoffrey Beevers as Equerry and Bebe Cave, Maya Gerber and Nell Williams as Young Elizabeth.
Directed by BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning Daldry, The Audience features design by Bob Crowley, music by Paul Englishby, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Making its West End premiere at the Gielgud Theatre, The Audience promises to be a compelling insight into the private political meetings of our longest-reigning Queen and the several past Prime-Ministers.