Queen Elizabeth II is an interesting figure in British history. She is one of the most well known public figures in the world, but there are a few who are lucky enough to get beyond the public persona.
The Audience, a new play by Peter Morgan is about a little known meeting that the Queen has had with her Prime Ministers. Every Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth will meet for twenty minutes to hash out the past week’s events and to speak of what is to come for the next week. This has been a tradition for sixty years, 12 Prime Ministers have sat opposite the Queen in those six decades.
Playing Queen Elizabeth II once more is Helen Mirren. But this is not the just the older Queen Elizabeth that Mirren played in The Queen. The play jumps back and forth in time, going back to her childhood (Sadie Sink & Elizabeth Teeter alternate the part of young Elizabeth). As an adult, we see Elizabeth with her Prime Ministers, starting with Winston Churchill (Dakin Matthews) and ending with the current Prime Minister David Cameron (Rufus Wright).
This play is nothing short of a masterpiece. Helen Mirren has proved once more why she is goddess that she is. Her Elizabeth is more than a ceremonial figurehead. She is witty, intelligent and extremely interested in the day to day running of her country. We also see her growth as a woman and as a young girl, she chafed that rules placed upon her when her father became King. Like any manager, her relationships with her Prime Minister vary from professional to warm.
Tonight was the last performance of this show. I’m usually not a fan of revivals, but next time this show comes around to NYC, I would see it again. Especially if Helen Mirren reprises her role.
I absolutely recommend it.