Helen Mirren diffused drummers when she stormed out of Gielgud Theater in London’s East End, on Saturday. Dressed like Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, the Laurence Olivier Award winner was irritated by the terrible noise outside. The din of the drums was increasingly difficult to ignore drowning her voice, and the audience could barely hear a word she was saying. A man recording the drummers says that Mirren was swearing and hollering, and waving her arms in anger. Reports say that the conductor was terrified by Helen’s rant. He saw a woman in Cardigan shoving her way into the crowd and went directly to confront him.
The play called The Audience portrays a weekly meeting with Prime Ministers in her reign. During the play, Dame Helen Mirren was in the meeting with the late Winston Churchill, the Queens favorite Prime Minister.
During an interview, Helen felt that she was irritated by the troupe that called themselves Batala London because they were throwing her and her cast off their game. She turned the air blue when she banged her way through the crowd during intermission and ranted at the drummers. The samba-style music was drowning her voice, and the audience could barely hear her. She was heard saying that people paid dearly to see the play. Admission was a hundred pounds each.
The Batala London was in the neighborhood trying to promote an LGBT Pride event called At One in the Park Festival for gay and transgender people. Liam Emerson, the band conductor said they were not aware that they are causing a disturbance. He said that usually people hollered at them, but the experience with Dame Helen Mirren as Queen in full regal refinements is quite unique.
Yes, it was unique because disruptions during play usually involve cell phones going off like in 2012 play of the “Death of a Salesman” and “The Anarchist.”
When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, Dame Helen Mirren took it upon herself to promote the music festival of the drummers who interrupted her performance earlier. She even appeared in the T-shirt advertising their festival with a hand-written message urging them not to do it outside the theater.
She even invited them to watch the play. The organizers invited Dame Helen to open the At One in the Park Festival officially, on May 26 and appear alongside the Samba drummers. Helen Merrin told reporters that they were no hard feelings. In fact, she wants to invite the Batala London troupe to a future performance called “fellow performers.”
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas