Helen Mirren, who earned an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in 2006, knows how to play the part on and off the stage.
Mirren, currently reprising her most famous role for the stage production The Audience in London, lost her royal cool when a parade of drummers celebrating London’s As One In the Park gay music festival drummed a bit too loudly for her tastes over the weekend.
So when the show’s intermission began, Mirren fled the theater in full Queen regalia to berate the drummers and tell them to keep it down. She even used some less than regal language while doing so.
It was towards the end of the first half, as she was discussing her 1992 “annus horribilis” with John Major, played by Paul Ritter, that the incessant thudding outside became increasingly hard to ignore.
Minutes later, during the interval, the drummers suddenly fell silent as Dame Helen appeared from the stage door, evidently not amused. 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.”
Mr McKenzie claimed that Dame Helen had even given one of the parade promoters a regal tap around the head.
The royal tongue lashing worked, apparently, as Mirren told the press the drummers quickly lowered the volume without further incident.