Stephen Daldry directs Kristin Scott Thomas in Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience which was a sell-out show with Helen Mirren at The Gielgud.
As queen 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 play 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.