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Monday, 3 June 2019

REVIEW: The Audience at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Peter Morgan's fascinating play which imagines the conversations between the Queen and her Prime Ministers in her weekly meetings was first staged in 2013 and revived in 2015 with the removal of James Callaghan and added audiences with Tony Blair and David Cameron. So it is very interesting to see the first regional production at the NST city theatre in the very month that her thirteenth Prime Minister resigned from office. 

Sam Hodges, the artistic director of the NST directs the play and makes some bold staging decisions with his designer Rosanna Vize to emphasise the nature of their relationships. The traverse stage ensures that we constantly sense the feeling the protagonists must have of always being under watchful scrutiny and the travelator means the Queen is faced in her private audience room with a conveyor belt of Ministers going back to her first in 1953, Winston Churchill. He also cast one actor, Paul Kemp, in all the male Prime Minsters to emphasise that they are almost interchangeable as each deals with the crisis of the day. They then dress the stage as if we are in a fluorescent lit museum. This fresh new staging while interesting is at times distracting from the excellent central performances.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Audience, starring Helen Mirren, will transfer to Broadway

Continuing her award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, Academy Award winner Helen Mirren will star in a limited engagement of The Audience on Broadway beginning in February 2015 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, producers announced Aug. 6.

The Broadway production of Peter Morgan's play 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.

Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, An Inspector Calls) will again direct. Previews will begin Feb. 17, 2015, prior to an official opening March 8. The limited engagement will run through June 28.
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