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Meet the new Queen as Kristin succeeds Helen

Kristin Scott Thomas will inherit Helen Mirren's West End throne and play Queen Elizabeth in an updated version of the hit play The Audience while its original star takes the show to Broadway.

The play, inspired by the private weekly meetings between the monarch and Britain's prime ministers - 12 in all - over her six-decade reign is returning to London in April.

Mirren's performance in the role made it one of the hottest tickets in London's theatreland, and producers will be hoping for a repeat performance when the show opens at the Apollo Theatre. The new London version will include scenes with former Labour prime minister Tony Blair who did not feature in the original.


Mirren's Broadway performances start in February and are expected to run until June.

The West End is also welcoming another show next year in the shape of a musical version of the film Bend It Like Beckham. The stage version of the film, which starred Keira Knightley in the story of a female football team, will be on from May and feature music by BAFTA-winning composer Howard Goodall.

Gurinder Chadha, who co-wrote and directed the film, said: "We are presenting a totally new kind of musical - part West End, part London Punjabi, but whole-heartedly British."