Helen Mirren, The Queen


Moral of the story: Don't mess with Her Majesty—especially when she's played by Dame Helen Mirren.

The Oscar winner made headlines on Saturday night after she marched out of the Gielgud Theatre in London dressed in character as Queen Elizabeth II and used some not-so-regal language to berate a troop of drummers for interrupting the show.

Mirren, who was on stage starring in the play "The Audience," told the U.K.'s Telegraph she felt compelled to take action after the carnival-esque parade pulled up next to the stage doors toward the end of the first act and wouldn't leave, making it difficult not only for the actors to hear themselves but for the audience to watch them as well.

So during intermission, the English actress, still in costume as the Queen, went outside and gave the rowdy band a royal, expletive-filled reprimand that shocked the musicians, who were out promoting London's As One in the Park music festival.

"I'm afraid there were a few 'thespian' words used," Dame Helen told the newspaper. "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."

Mirren noted that that the noisemakers were so loud, she and costar Paul Ritter could barely make it through one emotional scene.

"I was so upset from struggling through the scene with Paul that I literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said, 'Stop, you've got to stop right now,' only I might have used stronger language than that," the thesp added.

"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." 

Mirren has since invited her "fellow performers" to see the play as a thank-you for being so accommodating. 

All's well that ends well—kind of.

Drummers weren't the only problem plaguing that evening's production. The theater also suffered a power outtage that plunged the stage into darkness, prompting Mirren as the Queen to quip to the audience, "We seem to be having a bit of a bad night."

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