Helen Mirren may meet Obama while performing on Washington stage

February 23rd, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

London, February 23 (ANI): If reports are to be believed, The Queen star Dame Helen Mirren may soon meet U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle when she performs on the Washington stage.
Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Britain’’s ambassador in the United States, is said to have taken the help of his wife, Lady Julia, to persuade Helen Mirren to play the title role in a National Theatre production of Phedre, a tragedy by Jean Racine, which will move to Washington in September after a three month run in London.
Reports now suggest that the Obamas, who go out much more regularly to the theatre than George W. Bush and his wife Laura, may grace the show with their presence.
It was Lady Julias suggestion that the production should be invited to their new playhouse.
Sir Nigel and his wife have known Sir Nicholas Hytner, the director of Phedre, through mutual friends for more than 30 years.
The couple also wrote to Dame Helen, who they know less well, urging her to come to Washington.
“The ambassador and Julia have known Nicholas Hytner since university days. They encouraged him to bring something from the National to Washington. There have been smaller productions before but not a blockbuster like this, the Telegraph quoted a spokesman for the British Embassy as saying.
“The National were looking for a venue and were having trouble getting the dates to work with the Kennedy Centre. Lady Julia is on the board of the Shakespeare theatre. She said: ”You should call the National Theatre.”
“They dropped Helen Mirren a line and said: ”You”d be most welcome in Washington. You”d be the hot ticket,” or words to that effect. They wanted to make the dates work for her because she’’s well known here. That’’s how it came together,” he added.
The announcement has been made at such a time when all diplomats are trying to get noticed by the Obama administration. (ANI)

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