Helen Mirren stars in The Audience with Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren stars in The Audience with Helen Mirren

The play is called The Audience. It was written by Peter Morgan. It stars an actress you might have heard of. The subject is the Queen and every Prime Minister that has served under her. However, the star of the play is slightly bigger than everything which has led to most people calling it The Audience with Helen Mirren, both in London and New York. Only the best shows with the brightest stars get transferred such as Cripple of Inishmaan with Daniel Radcliffe from UK to US and The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper from US to UK.

Every week, the Queen grants an audience with the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. From Winston Churchill to David Cameron, each have an opportunity to speak to Elizabeth II in a room in Buckingham Palace. Something I was never aware of, but I don’t pay much attention to the monarchy. I do like to keep an eye on those Prime Ministers though, especially now. Every Prime Minister has their own agenda, whether they are Tory or Labour, cut out for the job or not; the Queen remains a rock, a constant presence.

Helen Mirren is a constant presence on the stage. With the help of some quick changes, the years are added and taken away in a heartbeat. However, wigs and costumes can only do so much, Mirren does carry the show. Although she is briefly upstaged by a pair of corgis. She has played the Queen once before on screen, the aptly named The Queen. As the Queen, she is regal, majestic and imposing. Peter Morgan has also let us see another side; witty, charismatic and not to be fucked with.

The majority of the play is set in one room. The only hint of time passing is the greying of the wig Mirren wears. The men and one lady in charge of the country come and go, making the same mistakes. There are moment from history they have not learned from. The play is structured to reveal these moments with pained laughter as the Prime Ministers parrot each other. It is flawless to watch as play but the problems with our political system echo in your head long after the curtain falls.