Joining Helen Mirren as The Queen in the world premiere of Peter Morgan’s The Audience are Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown and Rufus Wright as David Cameron, alongside the previously announced Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill and Paul Ritter as John Major. Final casting will be announced shortly.
Stephen Daldry’s production of The Audience will preview at the Gielgud Theatre from 15 February 2013, with press night on 5 March 2013 and is currently booking to 15 June 2013. Designs are by Bob Crowley, lighting by Rick Fisher, sound is by Paul Arditti and video by Ian William Galloway.
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 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.
Michael Elwyn returns to the theatre having more reccenty been seen on television in The Syndicate, Da Vinci's Demons, EastEnders, Stella, Seven Lives, The Tudors, Into the Storm, Foyle’s War, Ten Days To War, Robin Hood, The Bill, Sharpe’s Challenge, The Queen’s Sister, Rosemary and Thyme, Dirty Filthy Love, The Brief, Byron, Daniel Deronda, Bertie and Elizabeth, Micawber, North Square, Soldier, Soldier, After Henry and Kinse. His film credits include The Iron Lady, Surveillance, Shadowman and Dot the I.
After leaving drama school Nathaniel Parker joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before appearing many times in the West End and on Broadway. His television credits include leading roles in the BBC’s adaptations of Vanity Fair, The Nuremburg Trials and Bleak House and for seven years he played the lead role in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. His more recent television credits include Injustice, Merlin, Me and Mrs Jones and the forthcoming Still Life for CBC. His many film credits include War Requiem, Hamlet, Othello, Fade To Black, Stardust, The Domino Effect, The Perfect Host, Malice In Wonderland, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Rufus Wright’s theatre credits include The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, The Empire for the Royal Court, Private Lives for Hampstead Theatre, Frost/Nixon and Mary Stuart both for Donmar Warehouse and in the West End and Journey’s End at the Playhouse and Duke of York’s Threatres. His television credits include Foyle's War, New Tricks, White Van Man, Five Daughters, The Thick of It, Taking the Flak and Bomber. His film credits include The Special Relationship, Jean Charles, James Bond: Quantum of Solace and Spy Game.
The Audience is produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries.