Mirren to reprise Oscar-winning royal role

Associated Press + More

LONDON (AP) — Helen Mirren is returning to the regal role of Queen Elizabeth II in a new play about the monarch's relationship with British prime ministers.

The actress won an Academy Award in 2007 for her performance as the British monarch in "The Queen," a drama about the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana. Mirren won praise for her turn as a monarch whose stiff upper lip hides a beating heart.

She will play the queen again in "The Audience," a play by Peter Morgan, who wrote "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon." The play imagines private meetings between the queen and the prime ministers of her 60-year reign, from Winston Churchill to David Cameron.

Directed by Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliot"), the play opens at London's Gielgud Theatre in February.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.