‘The Audience’ returns in latest theatre screening

2013-10-03 00:00

FOLLOWING sold-out performances during its first run at Cinema Nouveau, Ster-Kinekor has revealed that it is bringing back the National Theatre Live production of The Audience.

Dame Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II in this hugely successful West End production, which was filmed live at London’s Gielgud Theatre.

During her 60-year reign, the British monarch met each of her 12 prime ministers once a week at Buckingham Palace in London and at Balmoral Castle in Scotland to discuss matters of state. The details of these meetings were completely private. No minutes were taken and both parties had an unwritten agreement never to speak about what was said.

In The Audience, playwright Peter Morgan imagines what might have been said during these audiences at pivotal moments in British political history, including the queen’s coronation, the Suez crisis, the worldwide recession, and the miner’s strike and crushing of the unions.

Other more personal discussions in the play include the estrangement of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the decommissioning of Britannia and the opening of the doors of Buckingham Palace to the public.

Throughout these sessions, the queen is something akin to a therapist. The Downing Street incumbents use her as a sounding board for their concerns and desires, and she, in turn, reveals her thoughts as she advises, consoles and sometimes teases.

Morgan admits that what he’s penned is not necessarily accurate, but he hopes that those watching The Audience will appreciate the truth in his fiction. I certainly did.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry and co-starring Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown, Paul Ritter as John Major, Rufus Wright as David Cameron, Geoffrey Beevers as the queen’s equerry and Nell Williams as the young Elizabeth, this is a superb production.

If you missed previous screenings of The Audience, then make sure you get to Cinema Nouveau Gateway in Umhlanga on Saturday, Sunday, October 9 and October 10. To book, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za or

sterkinekor.mobi or call the Ticketline at 082 16789.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dame Helen Mirren has won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. For her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Frears, she received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA. On television she played the title role in Elizabeth I for which she won Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards.

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