The Queen of England has moved from the West End to Broadway in Peter Morgan's play The Audience. Morgan who penned the film The Queen (which also starred Helen Mirren) gives us snapshots into weekly private meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and the Prime Ministers. During her 60 year reign, there have been 12 Prime Ministers and we become privy to conversations that show a side to the Queen we may not know and how her relationships were different with each new leader. Of course, no one knows what these conversations actually were except those people in the room, but it makes for a very entertaining night of theater.
Everyone in this show is wonderfully cast. From each actor playing Churchill, Thatcher and Blair (to name a few) to the young girl playing a younger version of the Queen that often talks to the older version of herself.
But it is the Queen, Helen Mirren, that makes this theatrical experience something not to miss. She is utterly amazing as she ages right in front of our eyes in a non-linear fashion. Often doing complete costume/wig changes in 5 seconds right on stage. Her entire persona changes from the early days of her coronation of an unsure young woman to the rigid royalty that we see on television now.
Yet Mirren gives this queen heart, humor and humanity…and you can't help but fall for her. Of course she is no stranger to the role and won an Academy Award for the film, but that just means she wears this role like a well tailored dress.
Speaking of…the costumes & design by Bob Crowley are stunning. As are the other elements from hair & makeup to the music composed for the play. Director Stephen Daldry has taken all of these elements and created an evening fit for…a queen - that gives the audience a bit of a history lesson along the way.
The Audience runs at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater through June 28th. theaudiencebroadway.com