Positive Reviews for The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre
Helen Mirren’s Performance Praised for the Peter Morgan Play in the West End
Last month we brought news of the positive early reception for The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre and though the full spectrum of press reaction will come later in the month when it officially opens we now have another show to focus on. The Audience, which marks the first time that audiences will be able to see Helen Mirren as the nation’s monarch since the 2006 movie The Queen, has now opened at the Gielgud Theatre to great reviews.
Mirren has been singled out for particular praise, with Michael Billington in The Guardian describing her as “luminous”, whilst Paul Taylor in the Independent says that “Mirren rises to the daunting technical challenge”.
Peter Morgan is also the recipient of praise, with Peter Brown at London theatre Guide saying “Morgan's play is more concerned with the personalities involved rather than questioning the political validity of these audiences” and in reference to the intrigue offered with the closed-door interviews between Monarch and Prime Minister says “And 'The Audience' certainly does not disappoint.” Meanwhile, Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph calling The Audience a “marvellous piece”.
The show had been in the news recently due to the last minute change of actor in the role of Winston Churchill as Robert Hardy was replaced by Edward Fox due to the former’s injury. The Guardian points out that he is “gallantly taking over the role at short notice”, whilst Simon Edge in The Express says he “is cheerfully undaunted by his lack of resemblance to Winston Churchill”.
Overall the only review that was not completely positive was Billingon’s 3 star review in The Guardian as “the evening can't help but seem like a series of revue sketches”, pointing out that director Daldry and actress Mirren elevate the production.
So overall, producers must be happy that the production is being received so well, particularly as the thought of Mirren back in the role of the Queen had made it one of the most anticipated productions of the year (alongside The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).
The Audience is at the Gielgud Theatre where it is currently booking to Saturday 15th June 2013.