Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Audience


Finally we got to see the NT production of  The Audience
It was the cinematic re run in a small Art Deco refurbished cinema in Colwyn Bay...and I must admit, I loved the much lauded production featuring Dame Helen Mirren .
Once you get passed a slight left wing bias from playwright Peter Morgan, The Audience is a wry and witty "look" at the Queen's weekly "audiences" with a selection of her Prime Ministers over a 60 year period.
As you may expect from the writer of The Queen, Helen Mirren's monarch is a sympathetic, multilayered and gloriously difficult character, who is always a match for her PMs who all come to her with a host of circular and recurrent problems of self doubt, failure  and political shenanigans.
A wonderful Richard McCabe
The Ministers with the possible exception of a " Royal acting" Thatcher ( a wonderful Hayden Gwynne) are given an interesting and original  slant . Gordon Brown ( Nathaniel Parker) is vulnerable and obviously depressed. John Major ( Paul Ritter) tearful and out of his depth and Harold Wilson ( Richard McCabe) is more Huddersfield than "ecky thump" it is his Northern Straight talking chauvinistic character that gives the play its heart, as we find out in the last few moments that out of her leaders, it is his old fashioned chutzpah that the Queen favours most above all of the others.

I enjoyed the play. Mirren's Queen is just how most of us would like to envisage her. Dedicated, steely, naturally funny and able to kick ass when the need arises.

8/10

17 comments:

  1. Oh how I wished I lived near you and could've seen this play. As I'm South African, it's probably hard for others to imagine that I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE the Queen. I'm reading her biography by Sarah Bradford for the second time now on my Kindle . The first was in paperback in 2005.I was fascinated that she enjoyed Harold Wilson, probably most of all the PM apart from Winston Churchill who was sort of a fatherly figure in her earlier and younger reign. Oh and I love Dame Helen Mirrin! Thanks for sharing. Greetings from Jo, Tanzania

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    1. Strangely enough the subject of South Africa is explored a little between the Queen and John Major...

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  2. One day, you will be a Dame too, and I'm not talking pantomime either. Break a leg.

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    1. Dame Gray of Trelawnyd
      It has a certain ring

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    2. Dorian Gray, more like.

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  3. i just love helen mirrin!

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  4. Give Barack Obama a Helen Mirren and he will forgive David Cameron for letting parliament dump him, because she would set him straight.

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  5. Jaz took the words out of my mouth. Helen Mirren can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. would love to see her new film.

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  6. I was fortunate enough to see the live telecast of the last performance of this in my local arts centre and it was WONDERFUL! X

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  7. Nathaniel Parker and Helen Mirren!? O.M.G.!

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  8. Living in Bubbaville, that sailed right over my head. I knew a couple names, like queen and Helen Mirren...

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    1. LOLOLOL! THAT cracked me up! Sharon, you are priceless!

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  9. Living in Canada under Her Royal Majesty's glance, and unlike SJQ above, I can appreciate this movie and hope I can get to see it here. Will check it out.
    I was always under the impression that the present royal family is a tad 'left-leaning'....especially Charles.
    I would LOVE to see the scene with Thatcher!!

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  10. Helen Mirren does everything with panache. I wonder if she could replace Obama?

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  11. It sounds like the perfect mix of roles, subject, and players. I'm very surprised to hear that she favoured Wilson; most people thought he was a buffoon.

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    1. That's how he was portrayed, but in a kindly way....
      Who knows what the truth was

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  12. I saw this as my local cinema showed it live then a rebroadcast later on the same day. I saw the rebroadcast and loved it. I could see it a second time.

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