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31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
Ended 25 Jul 2015 after 3 months
Scott Thomas holds her own against the gilded memory of Helen Mirren in this timely revamping of Peter Morgan's play
Peter Morgan's Olivier-winning play makes a much vaunted return to the West End in April 2015, with Kristin Scott-Thomas donning the gloves and handbag of our much-loved monarch, following Dame Helen Mirren's Olivier and Tony-winning turn. Playwright Peter Morgan has been quick to update the script following the May 2015 elections in the UK, with slight amendments introduced to ensure the play continues to reflect today's monarchy and government.
For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her 12 Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace - a meeting like no other in British public life; it is totally private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, a promise that even prevents them from speaking to their spouses.
The Audience breaks this contract of silence in spectacular fashion - and cleverly imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their monarch. From Churchill through to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional that are sometimes intimate and sometimes explosive. We see Wilson confess to his early stage Alzheimer's, and Gordon Brown battling his demons, and even Major reduced to tears in her presence. In turn, the Queen can't help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases.
From a young mother to great-grandmother these private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age. Politicians come and go through the revolving door of electoral politics, while she remains a fixed point in history, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister.
Previews from: 21 April 2015
Opening night: 5 May 2015
Closing night: 25 July 2015
The Audience is suitable for audiences aged 12 and upwards
Two hours and 30 minutes with one interval
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