Helen Mirren already has an Oscar for playing Elizabeth II in “The Queen” and an Emmy for HBO’s “Elizabeth I.” Now she may need to make room for more regal honors if her new stage play “The Audience” lives up to its pedigree.
Written by “The Queen’s” Peter Morgan and directed by multiple Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”), the world premiere production of “The Audience” is set to run Feb. 15-June 15, 2013 at London’s Gielgud Theatre.
Mirren again stars as Elizabeth II, this time playing the monarch over a period of decades as she meets with various U.K. Prime Ministers for a weekly “audience” (read: discussion about current events). The Queen and the Prime Minister have an unspoken agreement to never reveal what is discussed in these meetings, so Morgan’s play will imagine what may have happened in several scenarios over the years.
According to the play’s official summary: “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.”
It sounds like Mirren’s most demanding royal challenge yet, and if the play is a success it’s hard to imagine someone not wanting to turn it into a film. (The summary of “The Audience” also reminds us a bit of Lee Daniels‘ next movie, “The Butler,” about a man who served as the White House butler for three decades and his relationships with various Presidents.)
More information and details on tickets (if you’re lucky enough to be in London during the run) are available on the play’s official site.