Helen Mirren shouted expletives at carnival drummers in the street while still dressed as The Queen.
A group of street percussionists promoted London’s upcoming As One In The Park gay festival by performing outside the Gielgud Theatre, where Mirren was playing the role of Her Majesty.
Towards the end of the first half, as she was discussing her “annus horribillis”, the drumming outside became too loud to ignore. This prompted Mirren to take action during the interval and she confronted the drummers outside.
Mark McKenzie, who organised the parade, said: “Not much shocks you on the gay scene. But seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the Queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade…that’s a new one.”
Speaking about the incident later, Helen Mirren said: “I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used. 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 drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door. There was just a thin wall between drumming and the theatre so it was unbelievably loud on stage. They were very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn’t just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho on a Saturday night.”
by Lorelle Heath