Mirren to reprise Oscar-winning royal role

September 21, 2012 - 1:35 PM

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.