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Subject: Helen Mirren returns to play The Queen

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/21/12 at 1:54 pm

Dame Helen Mirren will revisit her Oscar-winning role in The Queen, playing Elizabeth II in a new play from Peter Morgan, called The Audience.

Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry will direct Dame Helen in the West End production next February.

The play, at London's Gielgud theatre, reunites the 67-year-old star with playwright Morgan, author of The Queen.

The Audience depicts the weekly meetings between The Queen and some of the 12 Prime Ministers of her reign.

Morgan has imagined some of the pivotal conversations that have become a very private part of British political life.

"From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional - sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive," reads the press release.

Morgan's previous work includes the critically acclaimed play Frost/Nixon, which transferred to Broadway and was later adapted for the big screen. His screenplay credits include The Last King of Scotland, The Damned United and the forthcoming Hugh Hefner biopic, Playboy.

Dame Helen won the best actress Oscar in 2007 for her role in The Queen, which recreated the days following the death of Princess Diana.

She was nominated for an Oscar again in 2010, for her role as Tolstoy's wife in The Last Station, and is tipped to pick up another nomination this year playing Hitchcock's wife opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins, in Hitchcock.

Director Daldry began his career at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and oversaw the redevelopment of the Royal Court. The hit musical Billy Elliot - adapted from Daldry's original film - has toured around the world, picking up 10 Tonys in 2009.

The Audience opens on 15 February 2013, and runs to 15 June.

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