Haydn Gwynne, Paul Ritter and More Will Join Helen Mirren in West End Premiere of Peter Morgan's The Audience
By Mark Shenton
Helen Mirren, who has already been announced to star as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's The Audience, will be joined by Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill and Paul Ritter as John Major. The world-premiere run will begin performances at the West End's Gielgud Theatre Feb. 15, 2013, prior to an official opening March 5, and is currently booking through June 15.
Stephen Daldry directs the play, which imagines a series of pivotal meetings between Her Majesty the Queen and various prime ministers in their weekly meetings, which have hitherto been entirely secret. According to press materials, The Audience "breaks this contract of silence. 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."
Gwynne previously worked with Daldry on the original West End and Broadway productions of Billy Elliot, in which she originated the role of Mrs. Wilkinson. She has also appeared on both sides of the Atlantic playing Queen Elizabeth I in Richard III for Sam Mendes' Bridge Project.
Ritter was most recently in the National's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; his National credits have also included The Hothouse, The Reporter, The Coast of Utopia, Howard Katz and Coram Boy. He was also seen in the Old Vic production of Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests, which transferred to Broadway's Circle in the Square.
Hardy has played Churchill seven times before on stage and screen, including "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years" and most recently in Celui qui a dit Non in Paris in French.
The Audience is produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 4825130, or visit www.theaudienceplay.com for more details.
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