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Helen Mirren:(VIDEO) 'They were very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn’t just a batty old woman': Queen Helen on the moment she stormed off stage to confront a noisy drumming troupe (Mail On LIne)
By ALASDAIR GLENNIE and EMILY ALLEN
PUBLISHED: 17:11 EST, 5 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:56 EST, 6 May 2013
Reports of her exact words differ, but it is clear the 67-year-old was, like Queen Victoria, not amused. Some said she told the group to ‘shut the **** up’.
One is not amused: Helen Mirren as The Queen in play The Audience
Others said she ‘stomped out and shrieked “Quiet! I’m trying to do a play in here!” ’
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 the role earned her an Olivier award for best actress.
The play’s writer Peter Morgan also scripted the 2006 film The Queen, for which Dame Helen won an Oscar.
Saturday night’s West End performance of the play was disturbed by the sound of drums five minutes before the interval.
A troupe of performers marched past the theatre in a parade designed to promote As One In The Park, a festival for gay and transgender people due to take place in East London this month.
Followed by a crowd of around 200, the musicians and dancers stopped outside a bar to perform a drum crescendo – unaware they were drowning out Dame Helen’s lines.
Now Dame Helen has revealed she would like to invite the performers to see her play.
Audience member Ben Scotchbrook told the Daily Mail that the actress finished the first half without letting the noise affect her performance.
When the second half was interrupted by a lighting blackout, she went on stage and revealed she had dealt with the source of the noise.
‘She was a real pro, she saved the day,’ said Mr Scotchbrook, a 43-year-old communications consultant from Buckinghamshire.
‘The noise was really irritating, but she didn’t get ruffled on stage.
‘In the interval I went out and tried to ask the drummers to move on, to no effect. I don’t think they realised they could be heard inside the theatre.