Acclaimed Chicago actor Steve Pickering has taken over the role of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in TimeLine Theatre's hit Chicago premiere of Peter Morgan's THE AUDIENCE.
Now in its final week, THE AUDIENCE was extended once, but most close this Sunday, December 3. Final performances are Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Pickering stepped in for Matt DeCaro on November 24. In addition to portraying Churchill, Pickering plays two more prime ministers plus an archbishop who counseled Queen Elizabeth during her 60+ year reign.
The cast also features TimeLine Company Member Janet Ulrich Brooks as Queen Elizabeth II, Simon Hedger (who replaced David Lively as Equerry), Mark Ulrich (John Major/Gordon Brown/Anthony Eden/David Cameron), and Wendi Weber (who replaced Carmen Roman as Margaret Thatcher), with Sophie Ackerman and Audrey Edwards sharing the role of Young Elizabeth.
THE AUDIENCE is directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling. Since opening in late August, TimeLine’s THE AUDIENCE has been praised as “a smart, juicy and gossipy exploration of the queen’s complex relationship with decades of democratically elected heads of state,” (Chicago Tribune), “[an] affectionate, eloquent revival [that] makes us believe we know a woman raised to be unknowable.” (Daily Herald), and “sheer theatrical heaven” (Chicago Theatre Review).
TimeLine’s production of THE AUDIENCE has been Chicago’s first view of Peter Morgan’s Broadway and West End hit. Known as the author of FROST/NIXON (another TimeLine hit, in 2010) and the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for THE QUEEN, Morgan also created the highly rated Netflix series THE CROWN, inspired by THE AUDIENCE. The second season of THE CROWN will be available on Netflix beginning December 8.
Every Tuesday afternoon for more than 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with her Prime Ministers in a private audience, a gesture of unity between government and Crown. Through moments of tension, negotiation, war, and unrest, these conversations with political leaders from Winston Churchill to Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher have remained a constant across the years. With THE AUDIENCE, playwright Peter Morgan re-imagines these meetings, giving us a glimpse at the queen’s role in guiding the circumstances that have shaped Great Britain, and a window into the mystery, compassion and humor of the woman behind the iconic crown.
THE AUDIENCE takes place at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. TimeLine Theatre is located near the corner of Wellington and Broadway, inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ building, in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood.
Tickets are $40-$54. Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. TimeLine is also a member of TCG’s Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at773.281.8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.