Helen Mirren Reads Royal Riot Act to Noisy Drummers
Actress Helen Mirren delivered another show-stopping performance as Britain's Queen Elizabeth when she marched out of a London theatre dressed as the monarch to deliver an expletive-riddled tirade at a group of drummers ruining the play.
Infuriated by loud drumming outside the Gielgud Theatre, where Mirren is portraying the queen in the play "The Audience", she burst out in full costume during the interval on Saturday night to tell them to shut up, with a few swear words thrown in for good measure.
[Chris Dangerfield, Comedian]
"And then I saw, obviously Helen Mirren, you know she's got that sort of trademark, that sort of blonde thing going on and she had a sort of Thatcher blue top on. And she comes marching out of there -- real flailing, looking at the arrogance of the woman was incredible, She comes out pushing through people, quite ironically really, because it's a gay bar, it's full of queens and the queen actually came out. And she is pushing all past them. And that was it, going crazy."
The footage showed an angry Mirren accosting the drummers, waving her arms and gesticulating angrily before the music was brought to a sudden stop.
The drummers said they were trying to advertise a gay festival named As One in the Park.
[Liam Emerson, Batala London Drummers]
"She made herself perfectly clear what was going on. I understand in the heat of the moment, she's on stage, there's a packed theatre, and we are making some noise outside. We were here to promote a festival. So it's fine, she made herself perfectly clear."
Mirren, 67, who last month added the best actress gong at Britain's top theatre honours to the Academy Award she won for the 2006 film "The Queen", said the drumming had got so loud it was disturbing cast and theatre-goers alike.
Arriving at the theatre wearing a T-shirt supporting the group, Mirren said she would say the same if there was noise again.
"Well, I was very upset. I was very cross. I just spent 5-10 minutes on stage to allow the audience to hear what I was saying which was impossible, so I was steaming."
Mirren said she would go to the festival the group were advertising.
Outside the theatre, there was mixed reaction to her outburst. One member of the audience said Mirren had "cemented her status as national treasure". But another man said the actress should have "carried on being a stalwart and queen-like".