Tuesday, April 3, 2018

       L-R: Deborah Persoff and Wes Munsil

          Peter Morgan’s play, THE AUDIENCE , premiered in 2013 in London’s West End and was the inspiration for the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series, THE CROWN. It’s a riveting ride through 60 years of Elizabeth II’s reign. Unlike her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I, this queen’s power deals less in the ‘execution’ of governmental rule. For this she relies upon her Prime Minister.
          Every week Queen Elizabeth II has a meeting with the Prime Minister. It’s a private audience that’s secret.
     Although some may see this monarch as merely a figurehead, we, as audience, become privy to the fact that her penetrating questions and sparkling repartee have clout.
     Luminous and revelatory, Deborah Persoff’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, stuns! In her performance as the queen her approval or disapproval of the politicians in each of these audiences is often quite subtle. Her penetrating gaze and shifts of body language , not to mention her verbal tonality, speak volumes.
     The actors portraying the various prime ministers in question are: Mark Collins (John Major), Christian Mast (Tony Blair), Jeff Jesmer (David Cameron), Wes Munsil (Anthony Eden), Chad Patten (The Equerry), Verl Hite (Gordon Brown), Andy Anderson (Harold Wilson) and Suzanna Wellens (Margaret Thatcher).
     Suzanna Wellens gives her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher teeth. An amiable Andy Anderson displays a wide range of emotions in his three scenes as Harold Wilson. Mark Collins gives us a credible John Major as well.
      Payton Maynard portrays the young Elizabeth, with Leslie Randle making a brief appearance as Elizabeth’s nanny, Bobo MacDonald.
     The costume design by Susan Rahmsdorff-Terry is very fine indeed.
     Steven Tangedal’s set design for the queen’s private audience room in Buckingham Palace Balmoral Castle is superbly executed and beautifully appointed.      
   Bernie Cardell’s direction shines. 

Marlowe's Musings  

Vintage Theatre & Spotlight Theatre present
“The Audience”
The imagined meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and, over 60 years, her twelve Prime Ministers.
Mar. 30-May 13
Fri/Sat and Mon., Apr. 9, Thurs., May 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays and Sat., May 12at 2:30 p.m.
$16 - $32 
www.vintagetheatre.org or 303-856-7830. 
Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010.
2 hrs. 20 min. with 1 intermission.

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