Stephen Daldry to helm West End production

LONDON — Helen Mirren will return to both the character of Queen Elizabeth II and the West End stage in February 2013 in the world preem of “The Audience,” a new play by Peter Morgan (“Frost/Nixon.”)

Produced in the West End by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Prods., Robert Fox and Andy Harries (producer of “The Queen”), the play will be helmed by Stephen Daldry (double-Tony winner “Billy Elliot,” “An Inspector Calls”) and designed by six-time Tony winner Bob Crowley (“Once,” “The History Boys”).

For her performance of the title role in Morgan’s “The Queen,” Mirren won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild award and a BAFTA. Her latest stage appearance was the title role in Nicholas Hytner’s National Theater production of “Phedre” in 2009.

Morgan’s play is based on the weekly audiences Queen has held with her Prime Minister throughout her 60-year reign. Details of the wholly private meetings, which have spanned Winston Churchill to present leader David Cameron, are never made public. Morgan’s play is an imaginative representation of these meetings.

“The Audience” will preview at London’s Gielgud theater from Feb. 15, 2013 ahead of a March 5 press night. The show is currently booking to June 15. Further casting will be announced shortly.

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