The Audience with Dame Helen Mirren playing the Queen is the best show in London right now—but she upstaged herself on Saturday night when she stormed out of the theatre to tell a troupe of drummers noisily playing in the street outside to 'shut the f*** up".
In full costume.
As one object of her ire, promoter Joe O’Leary, 32, who was at the drumming parade, told The Sun: “It was strange to see this little woman in tiara and pearls shouting like that. It’s not the behaviour you’d expect from the Queen.”
Mirren's outburst came after the noise of the drummers permeated the inside of the theatre disturbing the end of the first half. The 67-year-old actress burst out of the stage door at the interval, grabbed the conductor’s arm and yelled at the band to “shut the f*** up.”
Mirren later told the Daily Telegraph, “I’m afraid there were a few 'thespian’ words used. They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately. I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done.
“The drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door. There was just a thin wall between drumming and the theatre so it was unbelievably loud on stage. Paul Ritter and I could hardly hear each other speak and the audience couldn’t hear us speak at all ... I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said 'stop, you’ve got to stop right now’ only I might have used stronger language than that."
“They were very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn’t just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho on a Saturday night.”
Mark McKenzie, who organised the parade, said: “Not much shocks you on the gay scene. But seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the Queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade—that’s a new one.”
Dame Helen is playing the Queen in The Audience, a play about the monarch’s private weekly meetings with various prime ministers at Buckingham Palace.
Last week Dame Helen won Olivier award for best actress.
The play’s writer, Peter Morgan, also wrote the 2006 film The Queen, for which Dame Helen won an Oscar.
The performance continued with a power failure that plunged the stage into darkness. Dame Helen turned to the audience and said, “We seem to be having a bit of a bad night.”
The audience apparently disagreed, giving her a standing ovation.
Thank f*** for that!