On Saturday night an enraged Helen Mirren told off noisy revellers outside the Gielgud Theatre whilst dressed in full Elizabeth II regalia. According to eye-witnesses drumming noises from the street outside the venue had become impossible to ignore by the end of the first act of The Audience, in which Mirren is currently starring as Queen Elizabeth.
As One in the Park were promoting their upcoming festival for gay and transgender people due to take place in East London later in May. Some revellers were becoming particularly noisy with incessant drumming that was clearly audible during the show inside the theatre's auditorium.
A spokesman from the festival stated "Clearly angered she shrieked 'Quiet! I'm trying to do a play in here! People have paid a lot of money for tickets'." An exasperated Mirren had taken it upon herself to address the small crowd after others had failed to silence the noisemakers. Actor Rufus Wright who plays prime minister David cameron in the show had failed to silence the group. "You should have seen Helen. She came out in full Queen costume and shouted at the drummers too. Honestly. It was breathtaking" he recalled, adding on his Twitter: "Just fulfilled a lifelong ambition by bellowing at 25 drummers to shut the f**k up. West End theatres got thin walls."
TV news presenter Ben Scotchbrook had also failed to quell the insidiants and had been unable to locate any nearby police during the interval to help move them on. The humbled group was hushed after Mirren, sporting her pearls and tiara, took charge, and Scotchbrook later used his Twitter to applaud the actress: "Long may she reign … Helen Mirren, dressed as the Queen, leaves Gielgud Theatre at interval to move on deafening drummers spoiling the show."
Reflecting on the encounter Mirren later told The Telegraph "I'm afraid there were a few 'thespian' words used. They got a very stern royal ticking off...I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done."
She explained "There was just a thin wall between drumming and the theatre so it was unbelievably loud on stage. Paul Ritter and I could hardly hear each other speak and the audience couldn't hear us speak at all. We were doing this last scene of the first act where the Queen is being told she is going to lose Britannia [the royal yacht], it's quite an emotional scene. I thought, we can't carry on like this, they have to stop."
"I was so upset from struggling through the scene with Paul that I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said 'Stop, you've got to stop right now' only I might have used stronger language than that. They were very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn't just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho on a Saturday night."
She added that she would like to track down the "fellow performers" and invite them back to see the show.
Mirren won an Olivier Award last week for her stunning portrayal of our reigning monarch, which quickly became a West End sell-out shortly after going on sale.
We say: bravo Ma'am!
Book tickets for upcoming Gielgud Theatre show Private Lives starring Anna Chancellor and Toby Stepens now