Mirren: I'd shout at drummers again

Ben Arnold

Helen Mirren has said that she'd repeat her expletive-filled outburst at a group of drummers who disrupted her performance at the Gielgud Theatre in London at the weekend.

“If they make the same noise I would say the same again,” she said. “I was very upset, I was very cross.”

[Related story: Helen Mirren accuses Sam Mendes of sexism at Empire awards]
[Related story: Exclusive: Red 2 main trailer]


The Batala samba band had begun an impromptu performance on Sunday outside the theatre at which Mirren is starring as the Queen in the play 'The Audience'.

But on hearing the noise, Mirren, still dressed in her costume, stormed off the stage and out into the street to give the band a piece of her mind.

“I had just spent five, 10 minutes on stage trying to allow the audience to hear what I was saying which was sort of impossible. I was steaming,” she added.

“I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs, straight out the stage door and they were right here ... so loud.

“The irony is I love drumming and I love drummers. In another situation I would have been out here enjoying it with all the punters. Unfortunately, I was having to do a play at the same time.

“I was in full costume... no crown - I was not wearing a crown or tiara. I was wearing pearls and the wig and the whole thing. I was more Duke of Edinburgh than the Queen. Her Majesty would never say anything like that.”


Liam Emerson, the musical director of the band, described Mirren's outburst at 'turning the air blue'.

Mirren has since apologised to the group, and offered them free tickets to come and see the show, in which she plays the Queen as she meets with her various prime ministers over the years of her reign.