Helen Mirren in 'The Audience': Royalty becomes her

Helen Mirren opens on Broadway in @TheAudienceBway: Royalty becomes her

Helen Mirren is once again playing her signature role of Queen Elizabeth II, this time in the Broadway transfer of Peter Morgan's "The Audience," which was first seen in London in 2013. The play, which imagines the British monarch's ritual meetings with prime ministers throughout history, opened Sunday at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York for a run through the end of June.

Mirren first played Britain's ruling monarch in the 2006 movie "The Queen," for which she won an Academy Award. She later won an Olivier Award for her stage incarnation of the character in "The Audience."

Before the actress first donned Elizabeth Windsor's famously conservative attire, she played an assortment of monarchs on stage during her lengthy theatrical career. Here's a look back at some of Mirren's royal stage roles, many of which were Shakespearean monarchs.

"Antony and Cleopatra": Mirren has revisited the role of ancient Egypt's most famous queen a number of times throughout her stage career. As a young unknown, she played the role in 1965 in a production at the Old Vic. Her performance in a 1982 staging by the Royal Shakespeare Co., opposite Michael Gambon, was celebrated, but a 1998 production with Alan Rickman at the National Theatre was panned. 

"Macbeth": As the plotting wife of the play's royal usurper, Mirren made a splash in a 1974 RSC staging by Trevor Nunn that paired her with actor Nicol Williamson, with whom she didn't get along, according to some accounts.

"Henry VI, Parts I, II and III": Mirren played Queen Margaret opposite the late Alan Howard in a 1977 production by the RSC at Stratford-upon-Avon that later transferred to London. Both Howard and Gambon would later co-star with Mirren in the controversial movie "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" in 1989.

"Phedre": Mirren played the wife of Theseus, king of Athens, in a revival of Jean Racine's  play set in mythological Greece. The 2009 National Theatre production co-starred a relatively unknown Dominic Cooper in the role of Mirren's stepson, for whom she has a quasi-incestuous longing.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT    

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