Helen Mirren Will Hold Court On Broadway Sooner Than Expected in The Audience | Playbill

News Helen Mirren Will Hold Court On Broadway Sooner Than Expected in The Audience Producers of Peter Morgan's drama The Audience, which stars Academy Award winner Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, announced that the play will now begin Broadway previews Feb. 14, 2015, two days earlier than announced.

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren Photo by Johan Persson

Directed by Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, An Inspector Calls), who helmed the play's London premiere, The Audience will open as scheduled March 8 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The production runs through June 28. (Previews were originally announced to begin Feb. 17.)

In addition to Mirren, the cast will feature Dakin Matthews as Winston Churchill, Rod McLachlan as Gordon Brown, Dylan Baker as John Major, Judith Ivey as Margaret Thatcher, Geoffrey Beevers as The Queen’s Equerry, Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson and Rufus Wright as David Cameron.

The cast also includes Anthony Cochrane (War Horse, Cymbeline) as Cecil Beaton/Detective/Bishop, Graydon Long (Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson, "The Carrie Diaries") as Footman/Beefeater, Jason Loughlin (Machinal, War Horse) as Footman/Beefeater, Henny Russell (The Winslow Boy, The Other Place) as Queen's Secretary, Tracy Sallows (Romeo and Juliet, You Never Can Tell) as Bobo McDonald and Elizabeth Teeter (Mary Poppins, Ever After) as Young Elizabeth. Michael Rudko (Mary Stuart, Serious Money) and Tony Ward (Twelfth Night, Richard III) comprise the Ensemble.

Beevers (The Comedy of Errors, "Victor/Victoria") will play the Queen's equerry, the officer in the royal household who attends or assists the royal family. Elwyn ("EastEnders," Rope) will play Anthony Eden (PM 1955-57), who is widely regarded as one of the least successful British Prime Ministers of the 20th century as a result of his foreign policy during the Suez crisis. McCabe ("The Constant Gardener"; Yes, Prime Minister) plays Harold Wilson (PM 1964-70 and 1974-76), who served as Prime Minister during the "Swinging Sixties" and is remembered for the liberalization of laws on censorship, divorce, homosexuality, immigration, abortion and the abolition of capital punishment. Wright (The 39 Steps, Frost/Nixon) is cast as David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, who is the youngest person to hold the office in 200 years.

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. Morgan is also the screenwriter of the Academy Award-nominated 2006 film "The Queen," which earned Mirren an Oscar for her performance. The Audience was previously broadcast in cinemas as part of NT Live.

"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. 

Matthews most recently appeared on Broadway in the musical Rocky. His stage credits also include The Best Man, A Man for All Seasons and Julius Caesar, among others.

McLachlan has performed in Holiday, The Government Inspector and Death and The King's Horseman.

Ivey won Tony Awards for her performances in Steaming and Hurlyburly and has also appeared in The Heiress, Blithe Spirit and Park Your Car in Harvard Yard. Her TV work includes "Will and Grace," "White Collar" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Baker's Broadway credits include Mauritius, November and God of Carnage. He has appeared in "The Good Wife," "Smash" and the "Spider-Man" movies.

The production is designed by six-time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley with lighting by two-time Tony Award winner Rick Fisher, sound by Tony Award winner Paul Arditti and music by Paul Englishby.

The Audience is produced by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries.

The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street. Visit theaudiencebroadway.com for more information.

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