Mark Ludmon examines the year ahead for regional theatre in 2018. Bolton girl Maxine Peake has made her mark on TV and the London stage but she returns to her roots with her second play, Queens of the Coal Age. Based on the true story of four women in Lancashire during the miners’ strike in the 1980s, it will be at the Royal Exchange in Manchester from 28 June to 21 July. Also at the Royal Exchange, Maxine Peake will star in Sarah Frankcom’s new production of Beckett’s Happy Days from 25 May to 23 June. Other highlights coming up at the Royal Exchange include Julie Hesmondhalgh in Kendall Feaver’s new play The Almighty Sometimes and April De Angelis’s new adaptation of Frankenstein. A new production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard directed by Michael Boyd, the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will come to the Royal Exchange … Read more
Following David Cameron’s victory in the UK General Election, playwright Peter Morgan has announced that he has updated his script for The Audience – his play about the weekly meetings between the Queen and her Prime Ministers. On the day Her Majesty the Queen invites David Cameron to form a new Government, the updated scene between the Queen and david Cameron, played by Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Dexter, will be performed for the first time at this evening’s performance. “In the same week as we opened The Audience it’s been particularly interesting to have experienced such a dramatic general election. This morning I have rewritten the scene in my play between The Queen and David Cameron to reflect the events of last night and this morning. Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Dexter will be rehearsing this new dialogue this afternoon and I hope tonight’s audience in particular will enjoy … Read more
BritishTheatre.com has just received a casting update for the forthcoming production of The Audience at the Apollo Theatre which will feature Kristen Scott Thomas as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, not even to their spouses. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. Joining Kristen as her prime ministers are David Calder as Winston Churchill, Mark Dexter as David Cameron, Michael Gould as John Major, Gordon Kennedy as Gordon Brown, Sylvestra Le Touzel as Margaret Thatcher, David Robb as Anthony Eden and Nicholas Woodeson as Harold Wilson. … Read more
Netflix has announced that it has commissioned a 10 part drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The series called The Crown will be based on the hit West End Play The Audience and will be created by Peter Morgan and Stephen Daldry – the writer and director of The Audience. It has been rumoured that Claire Foy has been approached to play the young Elizabeth II but no casting announcement has been made regarding Helen Mirren appearing in the series. The Crown will chart the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from the death of her father George VI in 1952 to the present day. Like the stage show the series will focus on the relationship between the monarch and her prime ministers. The Crown will reach television screens in 2016. Dame Helen Mirren will play the monarch in The Audience on Broadway next year, and Kristin Scott Thomas … Read more
Kristin Scott Thomas will play the Queen in a new version of Peter Morgan’s The Audience which will preview at the Apollo Theatre from April 12, 2015. For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, not even to their spouses. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses 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. These private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age, from the beginning of Elizabeth II’s reign to today. Politicians come and go through the revolving door … Read more
The Audience, written by Peter Morgan, starring Helen Mirren and directed by Stephen Daldry, is one of those rare theatrical experiences which embraces and delivers all of the possibilities in a rich, perfectly-pitched and played meditation on the UK Monarchy, the office of Prime Minister and the state of the evolving UK society…If all West End productions were this good, London would expire from sheer pleasure.