A troupe of street drummers got a shock when Helen Mirren,
dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, emerged from a London theatre to berate them for
disrupting her show.
Mirren is starring in The Audience, a drama
about the weekly meetings between the queen and Britain's prime ministers over
her 60-year reign.
Outside noise became too much for the actress to bear
during Saturday's performance.
Mirren acknowledged to the Daily Telegraph newspaper that
she used less-than-royal language in her rant.
"I'm afraid there were a few 'thespian' words
used," Mirren was quoted as saying.
"They got a very stern royal ticking off, but I have
to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately.
"I felt rotten, but on the other hand they were
destroying our performance so something had to be done."
The drummers were marching through London's West End to
promote As One in the Park, a gay music festival being held later this month.
"Not much shocks you on the gay scene," parade
organiser 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."
Chris Dangerfield, a comedian, was filming the drummers
from his nearby balcony when a cardigan-wearing figure burst through the stage
door, gesticulating wildly.
Dangerfield said he couldn't hear what Mirren was saying
over the drumming, but "I could tell it was hostile".
"I talked to a few of the drummers this
morning," he said on Monday. "The conductor, who really got it in the
ear, said he was terrified."
Festival spokesperson Mark Williams said organisers
"are 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".
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