News Column

Helen Mirren to Street Drummers: STFU

May 6, 2013
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren reverted to Jane Tennison mode on Saturday when she cracked down on noisy street drummers who disrupted a performance of her West End play "The Audience."

The Oscar-winning actress left the Gielgud Theatre during intermission of the play -- in full costume -- to verbally berate the drummers, who had taken to London streets to promote a music festival. The Daily Telegraph reported that Mirren appeared from the stage door and used some salty language to express her annoyance.

"I'm afraid there were a few 'thespian' words used," she told the newspaper. "They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately."

The drumming noise had reportedly disrupted the first half of the play, particularly a scene in which Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) is talking with Prime Minister John Major (Paul Ritter).

As Mirren told the Telegraph: "I was so upset from struggling through the scene with Paul that 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."

A YouTube video has surfaced that is said to show Mirren shouting at the crowd, though it is difficult to discern the actress in the video.

The Telegraph reported that Saturday's performance also suffered from a power outage that brought the play to a halt.

Last month, Mirren won an Olivier Award for her performance in "The Audience." The play, written by Peter Morgan, is scheduled to be broadcast to cinemas around the world starting June 13.


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