The Audience premiered in the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End on 15 February 2013. Written by British playwright, Peter Morgan, and directed by Stephen Daldry, the premiere starred Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and received substantial critical acclaim. As part of its run in London, the play was broadcast live at cinemas across the UK and North America as part of National Theatre Live. It broke records for the number of people watching live, with nearly 80,000 in the UK and 30,000 in North America. Mirren won the 2013 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the monarch.
In March 2015, the play opened on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre for 4 months. Mirren went with the play, as did Richard McCabe (as Harold Wilson), Michael Elwyn (as Anthony Eden), and Rufus Wright (as Tony Blair and David Cameron). Tony Blair did not appear in the original West End production, but the character was added when the play opened in the US. This Broadway production won the Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Helen Mirren), as well as Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Richard McCabe).
The Audience was revived in the West End in May 2015 at the Apollo Theatre for a limited run. In this production, Kristin Scott-Thomas played the role of the Queen and the script was updated to reflect recent political changes. During the 15-week run, the dialogue between David Cameron and the Queen was constantly updated to keep up with current political activity.
Note: This guide uses the original script, published in 2013, and does not include the character of Tony Blair or other recent updates.