Tony nominee Haydn Gwynne will take on famed British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opposite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in the upcoming West End play The Audience. Directed by Stephen Daldry, Peter Morgan's play will run February 15, 2013 through June 15 at the Gielgud Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for March 5.
In addition to Gwynne, the cast will also feature Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill and Paul Ritter as John Major. Further casting will be announced shortly. The Audience follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. For 60 years the Queen has sat with all of England's Prime Ministers for private, weekly meetings at Buckingham Palace. The Audience hopes to break the silence on these highly secretive meetings. Morgan wrote the screenplay for the hit 2006 film The Queen, which also starred Mirren as Elizabeth II. Mirren won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the Queen of England.
Gwynne earned a Tony nomination for Billy Elliot, having previously originated the role of Mrs. Wilkinson in the musical's West End production. She is currently on tour with Duet for One. Her other theater credits include Richard III, Becky Shaw and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Harder has previously played Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years. His stage credits include Hamlet, Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear. Ritter recently appeared in the National Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. His other stage work includes The Hothouse, The Reporter, The Coast of Utopia and Coram Boy.
The Audience will feature design by Bob Crowley, lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by Paul Arditti and video by Ian William Galloway.