Robert Hardy returns to the stage opposite Dame Helen Mirren for a limited time in the West End, London.
FINEST HOUR, 2 November 2012 — Robert Hardy is to play Winston Churchill for the ninth time in his career, opposite Dame Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth II in the West End.
Peter Morgan’s new play, The Audience, begins at the Gielgud Theatre on February 15th, running eight times a week through mid-June. It depicts the weekly meetings between the Queen and twelve prime ministers from Churchill to David Cameron. Haydn Gwynne will play Margaret Thatcher, and Paul Ritter John Major.
Timothy Robert Hardy has previously played Churchill eight times including Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and most recently in Celui Qui A Dit Non in Paris in French. He played Siegfried Farnon in the classic television adaptation of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small and is also known for starring in the Harry Potter films as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Audience marks a return to royal duty for Dame Helen who won an Oscar for her lead role in the 2006 film The Queen, also written by Morgan.
Mr. Hardy has been having a “bit of a go round” with the producers over his role. “The script suggests that WSC was a bit of a bully to the young Queen,” he tells us. “Of course we know that’s not true.” He’s quite right, as we quickly agreed—during Churchill’s weekly visits to Her Majesty, courtiers would hear peels of laughter coming from behind closed doors at the audience room.
“It is a rather odd assignment,” continues our Honorary Member: “I’m 87 and Churchill in 1952 was only 78—so I’ll have to play it backwards.” Tim Hardy is the youngest 87-year-old we know. We believe that if anything his ninth appearance as Churchill will be too young!
“Nine is my lucky number,” he tells us. Well, we think he should make it ten.
–Richard M. Langworth, Editor, Finest Hour