• Laurel Contributor

Encore Performance

Mary Adair Trumbly

Helen Mirren returns to the Highlands PAC for an encore presentation of “The Audience,” a riveting exploration of the weekly meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and her Prime Ministers, Saturday, August 24.

The Highlands Performing Arts Center will present the National Theatre of London’s encore performance of “The Audience” starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen is a modern constitutional monarch who reigns but does not rule. She has influence rather than power. Her influence is exerted by means of three fundamental constitutional rights – the right to be consulted, the right to advise, and the right to warn.

The Queen exercises these rights primarily through weekly meetings with her Prime Minister, meetings held every Wednesday when both are in London. It is these meetings that are dramatized in “The Audience.”

It is not clear when audiences began. During the war, however, Winston Churchill was accustomed to regular lunches with George VI. In October 1942, worried about the situation in North Africa, Churchill excused himself to go to the telephone. His conversation evidently pleased him, for he walked back along the passage singing “Roll Out the Barrel” with gusto, but with little evidence of musical talent.’ But, regular audiences probably did not begin until the reign of the present Queen.

The encore of “The Audience” will be screened on Saturday, August 24, at 1:00 P.M.

The MET Opera begins its Live via Satellite Series on Saturday, October 12, with “Turandot. The National Theatre of London will screen “Kinky Boots” on Saturday, October 5, and “The Lehman Trilogy” on Saturday, October 19. Tickets are available online at highlandspac.org or at the door. The PAC is located at 507 Chestnut Street. For more information, call (828) 526-9047.

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