Theatre Calgary – The Audience

Laura and I believe in giving back to the community you live in.  We’ve been volunteering with the RBC Foundation at Theatre Calgary for a number of years.  The foundation co-sponsors the Senior’s Matinee, a special Saturday afternoon performance where seniors can get discounted tickets, enjoy a few snacks, and listen to a talk from a member of the play company.

Click here to learn more about the program:

Theatre Calgary is located on the corner of 9th Avenue and McLeod Trail across from City Hall.

This past Saturday Laura and I helped to serve snacks and coffee to the seniors and listen to Stephen Hair, best known for his portrayal of Scrooge in The Christmas Carol. He give the seniors insights about The Audience and his own personal stories from his long acting career.

The Audience is written by Peter Morgan.  The play takes place in the drawing-room in Buckingham Place.  Queen Elizabeth II has a weekly audience with the Prime Minister of Great Britain to review past and future events.  The play focuses on eight of the twelve Prime Ministers during the Queen’s sixty year reign.  The playwright and the actors brought to life the personalities of the Prime Ministers and the Queen, with humour and normal emotions.

Seana McKenna, who stars as Queen Elizabeth II, went through many costume changes and portrayed the Queen as a young vibrant woman to elderly woman loyal to the Common Wealth.

The play leaps back and forth through the decades from when Queen Elizabeth II was only eleven years old, played by Zasha Rabie, to her late eighties, played by McKenna.  I do not want to spoil anything and tell you about the final scene.

The playwright provided insights to the challenges of being the Monarch of Great Britain and dealing with the various personalities of the Prime Ministers from differing political parties.  Seana McKenna makes Queen Elizabeth II seem “real” and dare I say a “normal” woman.  We are drawn into her world, wanting to do and change so much more than “tradition” will allow. It was very well done and it felt like a close and personal portrayal of the Monarch.

Bolide Rating: 4 out of 5