Queen Elizabeth II is coming to Broadway, not to see a show but to be in one. Peter Morgan’s The Audience will run from February 17th through June 28th, 2015 with Helen Mirren taking on the role of the British monarch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The play is described as the imagined conversations the Queen has had with British prime ministers during her reign. In real life, the Queen holds these meetings on a regular basis, but the content is kept secret from the public record.
In a New York Times review of the London production, Morgan's take on the character of Elizabeth II was described as him having "Elizabeth observe dryly that she knows she’s perceived as 'a postage stamp with a pulse.'” The review went on to say that "Ms. Mirren astutely delivers both aspects of that description, with the pulse in the ascendant. That is nothing less than her loyal subjects expect of her."
— Speakeasy (@WSJspeakeasy) August 6, 2014
Mirren's performance in "The Audience" is already familiar to patrons of London's West End. The production opened in January of last year in the Gielgud Theatre. Stephen Daldry directed that production as well. The cast included Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Edward Fox as Winston Churchill, Paul Ritter as John Major, Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown and Rufus Wright as David Cameron. According to the official website, the play closed in June 2013.
For non-theatergoers, Netflix may soon have its own version of the play, called The Crown. According to reports, the show will portray the monarch “over the course of various historical events during her reign,” and instead of just Helen Mirren, it may have "different actresses portraying the Queen at different points in her life.”
Image via NationalTheatre, YouTube