The actress spoke to us about her latest role in Peter Morgan’s The Audience which plays at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres on the 24th May.

©The Other Richard

Hi Sharon. For those who haven’t seen the play, what can we expect from The Audience? The Audience is a play that breaks the contract of silence between Queen Elizabeth II’s pivotal meetings with her Prime Ministers over the past 60 years. Set in Buckingham Palace, it provides a rare, albeit fictional, insight into these discussions. Expect a funny, truthful and goodhearted portrayal of The Queen and her Audiences behind closed doors.

What was it about the play that made you want to be involved with the production? I love Peter Morgan’s work, particularly The Crown, and find his ability to capture the intimacy of the Royal Family hugely fascinating to watch and explore. I was also born and bred in Southampton so the opportunity to perform at Nuffield Southampton Theatres has
been a real ambition of mine.

As we have seen recently our attitudes towards politicians have changed over the years – do you think that is the same with how we see the monarchy? In some ways, yes. I think generationally things have massively changed through the use of social media and the ability to see things more directly. We are so much more exposed to opposing opinions in a way that almost gives us permission to go against the grain. However, there is something very constant and unwavering about the Monarchy,
particularly Queen Elizabeth II, which is what I think drives peoples’ admiration for them.

How are you finding working on The Audience so far? I’m really enjoying it! There is so much about The Queen and Royal Family I didn’t know so every day I’m learning something new. We also have the wonderful Tom Jackson Greaves choreographing which has made exploring the physical journey of The Equerry really exciting for me.

Why do you think that people should come along and see the production? I think people should definitely come along because no matter what your thoughts are on the Monarchy, the play is witty, fun and full of surprises. The amazing team at Nuffield Southampton Theatres have created something that I believe will be visually invigorating and the cast have really managed to capture the delicate balance between what is
emotionally driven and what protocol is expected. Being able to watch the journey of one of the world’s ultimate female protagonists, who has undoubtedly stood the test of time, will definitely shine a new perspective on things!

By Emma Clarendon

The Audience will play at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres from the 24th May until the 22nd June.