The Audience to open at the Gielgud Theatre

Stephen Daldry is to direct Helen Mirren in the world première of Peter Morgan’s The Audience. The Audience will preview at the Gielgud Theatre from 15 February 2013, with a press night on 5 March 2013 and is currently booking to 15 June 2013. Designs are by Bob Crowley and sound is by Paul Arditti. Tickets for The Audience, which is produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries, go on sale today (21 September 2012). Further casting will be announced shortly.

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 as 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. In turn, the Queen can’t help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases.

From young mother to 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 constant, waiting to welcome her next Prime Minister.

Helen Mirren has won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. For her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen, 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. Mirren began her career playing Cleopatra for the National Youth Theatre. Subsequently she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company starring in such productions as Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth and in 1972 she joined Peter Brook’s theatre company and toured the world. Her other theatre credits include A Month in the Country, Dance of Death, Mourning Becomes Electra and Phèdre. Mirren began her film career with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent but her breakthrough film role came in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Her other film credits include The Madness of King George, for which she received an Oscar nomination and the Best Actress honours at Cannes Film Festival; Gosford Park, for which she received her second Oscar nomination as well as two SAG Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Ensemble Cast; and also Calendar Girls and The Last Station, for which she received Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress. Mirren has recently finished production on Sacha Gervasi’s latest film, based on Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, by Stephen Rebello in which she will star alongside Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock’s wife. Also upcoming, Mirren stars alongside Al Pacino in Phil Spector for HBO. On television she earned an Emmy and three BAFTAs for playing Jane Tennison in the multi award-winning series Prime Suspect. Her other television credits include Losing Chase, for which she won a Golden Globe Award; The Passion of Ayn Rand, for which she won an Emmy Award; Door to Door and also The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. Helen Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Peter Morgan is an international award-winning writer for stage, screen and film. As well as receiving Oscar and BAFTA nominations for his screenplay for Stephen Frears’ The Queen starring Helen Mirren, Morgan won a host of international awards including Golden Globe, British Independent Film and Evening Standard British Film Awards. His last play, the award-winning Frost/Nixon, received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic before being adapted into an Academy Award®-nominated film of the same name. The film garnered five Oscar nominations, including Best Screenplay. His many other film credits include the award-winning The Last King of Scotland; The Damned United; the upcoming Rush, directed by Ron Howard, as well as his current project about the life of Hugh Hefner for Warner Bros entitled Playboy. His extensive television credits include the critically acclaimed The Deal, the first part of Morgan’s Tony Blair Trilogy (BAFTA Award for Best Drama); The Special Relationship and Longford.

Stephen Daldry started his career at the Sheffield Crucible and has directed extensively in Britain’s regional theatres. In London he was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre where he headed the £26million redevelopment. He has also directed at the National Theatre, the Public Theatre in New York and transferred many productions both to Broadway and the West End. His 1992 National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls recently toured the UK. He has also directed for BBC Radio and Television. His production of Billy Elliot the Musical is currently playing in London and on tour across the US having previously played on Broadway and in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and Toronto. In 2009, the production won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, more than any other British show in Broadway history. His four films Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and most recently Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close together received 19 Academy Award® nominations and two wins. Daldry was also Creative Executive Producer of Ceremonies for the London Olympic Games.