Dame Helen Mirren is something of an expert when it comes to playing the Queen, and her performance in new play The Audience in London's West End does everything to reinforce that reputation.
The leading lights of the industry attended the opening night on Tuesday at the Gieguld Theatre to see Dame Helen in action. Among the audience were former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, actress Sheridan Smith, presenter Claudia Winkleman, Love Actually director Richard Curtis and Les Mis director Tom Hooper.
The 67-year-old actress revealed how she prepared for her latest role. “I watched a lot of film," she said. "Thank God for YouTube."
Critics wrote rave reviews about the all-star cast and hailed Helen's performance as 'magnificent'.
The play imagines the private meetings held in Buckingham Palace's Audience room between Queen Elizabeth II and the prime ministers in power over the course of her 60-year reign.
The Audience saw Dame Helen reunite with playwright Peter Morgan who wrote the BAFTA winning 2006 film The Queen for which she scooped the Oscar for Best Actress.
The cast includes Haydn Gwynne as Baroness Thatcher, Edward Fox as Sir Winston Churchill, Paul Ritter as John Major and Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson. Two lively Corgis also made a show-stealing appearance.
The play runs until 15 June.