Helen Mirren to reign the Broadway stage as Queen Elizabeth II
In 'The Audience'
Helen Mirren is reprising her Oscar-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in a new Broadway production of The Audience, scripted by Peter Morgan who wrote The Queen, for which Mirren won her Oscar and directed by the Tony Award-winning, Stephen Daldry. The production is making the transfer from London's West End to Broadway for a limited run, following rave reviews and critical acclaim in London. Could the role of Queen secure Mirren a Tony to add to her royal trophy cabinet?
Mirren has a virtual monopoly when it comes to royal roles in Hollywood, the West End and Broadway, with several depictions of Queen Elizabeth II under her belt, her credits also include Queen Elizabeth I, and even Queen Charlotte.
The play imagines what might be discussed behind closed-doors and in the strictest confidence in the weekly meeting that the Queen holds with the British Prime Minister. This meeting is called 'the audience' and no one knows what they discuss:
"Prime ministers' meetings remain secret. Secrecy is the whole point. No PM ever discusses it. [David] Cameron recently got into trouble for insinuating the Queen was pleased Scotland rejected the referendum to secede from Great Britain. They mustn't speak. And don't. So, our depicted conversations? They're imagined." Said Mirren.
And when it comes to playing a monarch who is almost 89 years of age, through a reign that includes meetings with Winston Churchill in the 50's and Margaret Thatcher in the 80's and everything in between, you can be sure that there are plenty of costume changes for Mirren, who thanks to being a Oscar winning A list actress, has managed to secure the best dressing room: "She's depicted at 27, 32, 82 and in between. I wear wigs, 10 quick costume changes. Theater dressing rooms are small. A young starting- out actress would have one up a long staircase. Fortunately mine's closest to the stage, or I'd never make it."