Helen Mirren had no patience for a group of street drummers performing outside a London theater where she was starring in The Audience.
The British actress emerged from the theater to berate the drummers who were playing loudly outside her show. Still dressed as Queen Elizabeth II in the drama about the weekly meetings between the queen and Britain’s prime ministers, Helen Mirren said she used some salty language in telling the drummers to scram.
“I was so upset from struggling through [a] scene…that I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said “stop, you’ve got to stop right now” – only I might have used stronger language than that.” Mirren added: “I felt rotten, but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done.”
The drummers were promoting As One in the Park, a gay music festival being held later in May. The festival organizers apologized to Helen Mirren, saying they were “terribly upset if we caused her any distress. If she’d like to let her hair down and attend the festival she’d be more than welcome.”
“Not much shocks you on the gay scene,” parade organizer Mark McKenzie told the Telegraph. “But seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade — that’s a new one.”
Unfortunately for Helen Mirren and the cast of The Audience, the night’s performance didn’t go smoothly once the drummers were scared away. Later a power failure caused the lights in the house to go out.