Monday, 20 May 2013

The Audience (theatre)

The Queen (Helen Mirren) & 
Margaret Thatcher (Haydn Gwynne) 
in The Audience
photo by Johan Persson
We very much enjoyed the fantastic National Theatre Live screening of This House (last night at the time of writing). All of these broadcasts that we've seen have been excellent and hopefully the next one, in June, will be just as wonderful. The Audience reunites Helen Mirren, who is reprising her role as Elizabeth II from the hit film The Queen, with The Queen's writer Peter Morgan. We were told last night that the first Cineworld screen has already sold out and the broadcast has been extended to another. This second screen is also now nearly full so if you want to see this broadcast, don't delay booking much longer or you won't get in!

Broadcast from London's Gielgud Theatre, The Audience has been directed by Stephen Daldry. As well as Helen Mirren, the cast also includes Edward Fox as Winston Churchill, Haydn Gwynne (Duet For One) as Margaret Thatcher, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown and Paul Ritter (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) as John Major.

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 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.

I am pleased to learn that Cineworld in Eastbourne are extending their arts programming through 2013. In a short speech before This House, David (the manager?), thanked patrons for their continued enthusiastic support and mentioned some highlights for the year including three Shakespeare productions from the Globe Theatre coming soon and the Met Opera season which will restart in the Autumn.

Cineworld, Thu 13th Jun, 19:00 and encore screening Sun 23rd Jun, 14:30.
Tickets £14.20, concessions £12.10, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the machines in the foyer.

Also screening at Hailsham Pavilion, Thu 25th Jul, 14:15 and 19:30.
Presumably standard Pavilion tickets prices apply.

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