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Theresa Healey Takes on Queen of All Roles

Theresa Healey Takes on Queen of All Roles in Stage Version of the Crown

Esteemed Auckland actor Theresa Healey (Trees Beneath the Lake, Filthy Rich, The Brokenwood Mysteries) has been given the royal nod from eminent British playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Crown, Frost/Nixon) to reign as Queen Elizabeth IIin Auckland Theatre Company’s ASB season of The Audience at ASB Waterfront Theatre in May.

Peter Morgan, creator of the hit Netflix series The Crown, granted express permission to Auckland Theatre Company for Healey to play the iconic royal in the production.

The Crown, a 10-part Netflix adaptation based on The Audience was created following the success of the play on the West End, with Dame Helen Mirren in the leading role.

ATC Artistic Director Colin McColl, who will be directing Healey in the role says, “The Audience is a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of the private, deliciously witty encounters between Queen Elizabeth II and her many, many Prime Ministers. Theresa has the skill, poise, stage presence and intelligence to take on the challenge of playing the maturing royal matriarch through her 60-year reign.”

The Audience takes place in the Queen’s private weekly meetings with her Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill to David Cameron. Behind closed doors, the Queen acts as confidante and sounding board, often displaying the wicked wit and charismatic personality she is well-known for, but not generally seen in public appearances.

Theresa Healey, well-known for playing nurse Carmen Roberts on Shortland Street in the 1990s, has appeared in some of New Zealand's most popular homegrown TV shows including The Blue Rose, Go Girls, Agent Anna and The Brokenwood Mysteries. Her movie credits include Vermilion, Ted & Sylvia and Jubilee, and theatre credits include Calendar Girls, Glide Time and Macbeth. Last seen onstage for ATC in the acclaimed drama Trees Beneath the Lake with Michael Hurst in 2014, Healey makes a welcome return to the company for this highly anticipated season of The Audience.

She is joined by New Zealand acting royalty Ian Mune OBE (The Cherry Orchard, To Kill A Mockingbird, King Lear) who plays Winston Churchill, as well as seasoned Kiwi actors Paul Barrett (Tic Tic, Field Punishment No. 1, End of the Rainbow), Cameron Rhodes (Mr Pip, Lysistrata, The Good Soul of Szechuan), Roy Ward (Nell Gwynn, The Crucible, The Brokenwood Mysteries), Adam Gardiner (The Cherry Orchard, Polo, Mahana), Hera Dunleavy (Filthy Business, The Cherry Orchard, To Kill A Mockingbird) and Mark Wright (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Streaker, Nothing Trivial). Recent Toi Whakaari graduate Nathalie Morris makes her Auckland Theatre Company debut in the role of young Elizabeth.

McColl is joined in the creative team by internationally acclaimed Set and Costume DesignerTracy Grant Lord (Billy Elliot the Musical, Fallen Angels, Romeo and Juliet), bringing her trademark elegance to the production. Lighting Designer Sean Lynch (The Daylight Atheist &Joan, Rendered, Polo) and Sound Designer Adrian Hollay (Filthy Business, Other Desert Cities, The Glass Menagerie) round out the experienced creative team.

The Audience received nominations for Best New Play in the Olivier Awards and Outstanding New Broadway Play in the Outer Critics Circle Award when it premiered in 2015. Dame Helen Mirren won Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk Awards for her sensational portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II on Broadway and the West End.

Playing 8-23 May, the ASB season of The Audience is a right royal treat for fans of quality British drama.


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