Playwright, Peter Morgan weaves a superb narrative that spans the Sovereign's sixty years on the throne which features the intimate weekly meetings between the Queen and each of the twelve prime ministers of England during these six decades.
With her ascension to the thrown in 1952 and her first Audience with then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill, we get a glimpse behind closed doors of the Young Elizabeth, strong, yet vulnerable, as she embarks on her new duties in this daunting position.
Under the direction of two-time Tony Award winner, Peter Daldry, who successfully juggles several new openings simultaneously, including The Audience in New York and London (featuring Kristen Scott Thomas) and Skylight on Broadway, as well as two additional film directorial projects including a new series about the Queen and the film version of Wicked. The multi-talented director successfully manages clever costume and wig changes of Ms. Mirren, which occur right on stage, moving the narrative back and forth from various time periods during the Queen's reign.
Lest we forget the canine actors, a pair of Pembroke Welsh Corgis who play her Majesty's beloved dogs, who, charm theatre attendees.
This Audience is a combination of acting at its best, effective and interesting direction and engaging dialog providing insight into the possible interactions with each prime minister, their personalities, political struggles and historic challenges and contributions through the on-stage conversations with the monarch.
An intimate portrait of the internal struggles of Queen Elizabeth are particularly touching and poignantly conveyed through her interactions with the "younger" Elizabeth, who reveals the conflicts and limitations of her choices and options in life from the time her father, King George VI ascends the throne in 1936.
Judith Ivey does a splendid portrayal of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, an interesting stage dynamic resulting between two strong, female leaders, which the audience can only interpret as a feisty combination contrasted with the soft and intimately human relationship between the Queen and Prime Minister Harold Wilson, as they share laughs and private thoughts and struggles.
This engagement, which began on March 8th and is scheduled to run through June 28, 2015, is fine New York Theatre.