May 06, 2013 02:00 PM

Keep calm … and shut the hell up.

Helen Mirren, in full Queen Elizabeth II regalia, wasn’t amused on Saturday when she stormed out of the Gielgud Theater in London’s West End, where she currently is playing the lead role as Her Majesty in the play The Audience.

No, it wasn’t simply a cell phone going off in the theater that got the Oscar winner‘s goat – it was an entire troupe of dancing drummers beating their instruments outside while she was performing on stage, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Apparently, according to a video that captured the incident, the drummers got their own earful from Dame Helen in return.

Those on the street were there to drum up attention for London’s As One In the Park gay music festival.


As parade organizer Mark McKenzie told the newspaper: “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.”

Mirren told the Telegraph” afterward: “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.”

In the play, for which Mirren, 67, recently won an Olivier Award (the West End equivalent of a Broadway Tony), the actress repeats the same role that won her an Oscar, for 2006’s The Queen. Playwright Peter Morgan’s stage drama (he also wrote The Queen) opened in February and traces QEII’s relationship with her prime ministers for the past six decades.

Next month, National Theatre Live will broadcast The Audience in HD internationally – presumably without interruption from outside the theater.

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