NEW YORK -- It's already one of the hottest tickets of the theater year in London, but international audiences will also get a chance to see Helen Mirren in The Audience when a performance of the play is broadcast live to movie screens around the world on June 13.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, the production reunites Mirren with playwright Peter Morgan, who wrote the screenplay for The Queen. That 2006 Stephen Frears film earned Mirren a best actress Oscar for the title role of Queen Elizabeth II. She steps back into the shoes of the British sovereign in this new play, which provides a fictionalized account of the monarch's weekly closed-door chats with her prime ministers during her six decades on the throne.
Currently in previews at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, The Audience officially opens March 5 and will play a limited engagement through June 15.
While the production is a commercial venture presented by Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox and Andy Harries, it will screen internationally under the National Theatre Live banner. That successful filmed-theater series was launched in 2009 with the National's production of Phedre, which starred Mirren opposite Dominic Cooper. The Audience marks the third time that the series has broadcast a play not staged by the National.
In addition to Mirren, the cast of The Audience includes Edward Fox as Winston Churchill, Haydn Gwynne as Margaret Thatcher, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson and Paul Ritter as John Major. Set design and costumes for the production are by Tony winner Bob Crowley.
Other upcoming entries in the National Theatre Live series include Alan Bennett's new play People on March 21, and James Graham's This House on May 16. The Audience will be shown on varying dates worldwide, starting on June 13, with encore screenings throughout the summer.