Edward Fox (“The Day of the Jackal”) has stepped into the role of Winston Churchill opposite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” currently in the midst of preview performances in the West End.

Fox replaces Robert Hardy, the 87-year-old actor who made the decision to withdraw from the production after falling and cracking his ribs.

Last-minute replacement will see Fox join a cast directed by Stephen Daldry at the helm of a play by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”, “Frost/Nixon”). The new actor will play one of the U.K. prime ministers whose relationship with the queen is the focus of the narrative.

Produced by Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Prods., Robert Fox and Andy Harries, the production will open its limited run at the Gielgud Theater March 5, as previously announced. Given the pedigree of the creatives involved, “The Audience” is already being eyed for a potential Broadway transfer.