Helen Mirren Compares British and American Audiences

News   Helen Mirren Compares British and American Audiences
At the recent Roundabout Theatre Company gala honoring Oscar winner Helen Mirren, who can currently be seen on Broadway reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan's The Audience, the acclaimed actress compared the reactions of British and American audiences to Morgan's drama.

Mirren, according to stage.co.uk, explained, "It was successful in London but American audiences are wonderfully responsive. They laugh more and certainly applaud more at the end."

Mirren, who also won an Academy Award for her role as the monarch in Morgan's film "The Queen," said she has great "empathy for her. Obviously I had to do a lot of research and the more research I did the more respect I gained for her."

The Audience's move to Broadway follows a record-breaking run at London's Gielgud Theatre in 2013 for which Mirren won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Play. Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, An Inspector Calls) directs the production, which officially opens March 8. The limited engagement will run through June 28 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Richard McCabe and Helen Mirren
Richard McCabe and Helen Mirren Photo by Joan Marcus

"For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, not even to their spouses," press notes state. "The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses 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. These private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age, from the beginning of Elizabeth II's reign to today. Politicians come and go through the revolving door of electoral politics, while she remains constant, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister." 

Mirren won the Academy Award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen," as well as the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. She received Academy Award nominations for "The Last Station," "Gosford Park" and "The Madness of King George." Mirren is a two-time Tony Award nominee for A Month in the Country and Dance of Death. She has also appeared onstage in the West End, the Fringe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in Orpheus Descending, Mourning Becomes Electra and Phèdre, among others. In 2014 she was honored with the BAFTA Fellowship for her outstanding career in film.  The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street. Visit theaudiencebroadway.com for more information.

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