It’s 1974 and the corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backbiting as Britain’s political parties battle to change the future of the nation, whatever it takes. In this hung parliament, the ruling party holds on by a thread. Votes are won and lost by one, fist fights erupt in the bars, and ill MPs are hauled in to cast their votes.
James Graham’s biting, energetic and critically-acclaimed new play strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes who roll up their sleeves, and on occasion bend the rules, to manoeuvre a diverse and conflicting chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
‘James Graham’s superb new drama held everyone enthralled throughout... Funny, touching and cliff-hangingly suspenseful.’Daily Telegraph
★★★★★ Daily Express
‘A funny and moving political epic. Another hit is born.’ The Times
‘Jeremy Herrin’s production recaptures, with abundant theatricality, the mayhem of Westminster politics.’ Guardian
★★★★ Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Independent, Sunday Express, Sunday Times
Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in the highly-anticipated West End production of The Audience, broadcast live from London's Gielgud Theatre as part of National Theatre Live.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace -- a meeting like no other in British public life -- it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. The Audience breaks this contract of silence -- and imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional -- sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive.
The Audience reunites writer Peter Morgan and Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren following their collaboration on the critically-acclaimed movie sensation The Queen.
‘Stephen Daldry delivers a pitch-perfect production.’ 'Wholly tremendous.' Daily Telegraph
‘Funny and truthful, good-hearted, spiky, full of surprises. I loved every minute.' The Times
Evening Standard, Independent, Metro
Dame Helen Mirren wins Olivier Award for her role as The Queen in The Audience
The last time Helen Mirren portrayed the Queen she was rewarded with an Oscar and a Bafta award. After returning to the role on stage she has also been crowned with British theatre’s top acting award. Dame Helen won best actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience at the 2013 Olivier Awards. Richard McCabe, who played Prime Minister Harold Wilson at the show, currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, won best supporting actor. He called Dame Helen “extraordinary”.
National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking initiative to broadcast productions from the stages of London’s National Theatre to cinema screens around the world. The programme began its pilot season in June 2009 with a production of Phedre, starring Helen Mirren, which screened live in 70 cinemas across the UK. 200 more venues eventually showed the production internationally, resulting in a combined audience of around 50,000 people for this one performance. The series is seen in several countries around the world, including in over 20 cinemas in New Zealand alone.