Dame Helen Mirren has been wowing West End theatre-goers with her performance in The Audience, which closes at the Gielgud Theatre on Saturday June 15th.
However those fans that have been unable to make the journey or get tickets for the play will be able to watch a live performance of her Olivier-Award winning performance as the Thursday performance will be beamed into cinemas across Britain - and the world!
Dame Helen in no stranger to having her on stage performance filmed and screened; her 2008 production of Phedre was the first play to be treated this way when the National Theatre launched NT Live. Their approach is to treat the plays like live sports broadcasts by using multiple cameras, tracking shots, and close-ups to merge the immediacy of live theatre and the intimacy of film.
Mirren knows from experience what the challenges are of playing to a live audience while cameras, occupying some of the seats, film the action.
"It’s very tricky, because there’s such a world of difference between theatre acting and film acting, and this absolutely is right in the middle," Mirren said. "It’s not a process that you get to practice a lot, so it’s a bit of a crapshoot. You’re working in the dark really, and there’s no chance of going back and going ‘Oh God, can we do it again?’ You just have to go for it, in the way that you do in the theatre."
Talk of The Audience transferring to Broadway is something Dame Helen has not ruled out, however it wouldn’t be for a while, she says.
Dame Helen, is classed as a “national treasure” and her name was even mentioned in regard to the replacement pilot of the T.A.R.D.I.S following Matt Smith’s departure announcement. She has laughed this off, however Dame Helen believes it is time for a female Time Lord.
"But I think it’s absolutely time for a female Doctor Who. I’m so sick of that man with his girl sidekick. I could name at least 10 wonderful British actresses who would absolutely kill in that role."
The Audience runs at London’s Gielgud Theatre until Saturday June 15th.