Celebrity Corgis Take To The Stage At The Newly Restored Royal Alexandra Theatre

Brothers Butters & Hachi Star in Peter Morgan’s  The Audience

By Si Si Penaloza

celebrity corgis take the stage in the audience mirvish theatre

Are you a rabid Anglophile and Corgi lover? If you can’t get enough of all things House of Windsor and have already binged The Crown on Netflix, never fear, David Mirvish is coming to the rescue. The local theater impresario is staging a co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre; get ready for Peter Morgan’s The Audience from January 17 – February 26, 2017 at the stunningly restored Royal Alexandra Theatre.

The Audience gives theatergoers a refreshingly candid, voyeuristic look inside the upper echelons of British politics and the unspoken sacrifices it takes to be the Queen of England. Few royal dynasties have stood the test of time like the House of Windsor.

The intrepid Fiona Reid (Calendar Girls, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) stars as Queen Elizabeth II as she meets with each of her Prime Ministers for a private audience every week, for more than 60 years of her reign. From Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron, no topic, either public or personal, is beyond the scope with Her Majesty.

Royal MTCs production of The Audience in co-production with Mirvish
Royal MTCs production of The Audience in co-production with Mirvish

Onstage chemistry runs strong as a cast of theater veterans are at the top of their game. The Audience also stars Anthony Bekenn as Equerry, Nigel Bennett as Harold Wilson, Evan Buliung as John Major, Benedict Campbell as Gordon Brown, Ben Carlson as David Cameron, Naomi Cronk as Young Elizabeth, Paul Essiembre as Anthony Eden, Kate Henning as Margaret Thatcher, Kevin Klassen as Tony Blair and John B. Lowe as Winston Churchill.
The story of Queen Elizabeth’s life is inextricably linked to her love for dogs. She’s always had Pembroke Welsh corgis, since she was a young girl. In fact, she has owned over 30 during her reign.

For the Toronto production of The Audience, Butters and Hachi will play the Queen’s two corgis. The frisky brothers will both be three years old this December 27. Butters was named after the South Park character and Hachi after the famous Japanese dog, Hachiko (and because he was the eighth of his litter and ‘hachi’ means eight in Japanese; the number eight is considered the luckiest number in Japanese culture).

Royal MTCs production of The Audience in co-production with Mirvish

Adorable as a pair of challah bread loaves, Butters and Hachi are inseparable and have been since they day they were born.  Even when one ran away (Butters is the “escape artist”), the other followed. Eventually they were both found together.

The Audience creative team includes Director Christopher Newton, Set & Costume Designer Christina Poddubiuk, Lighting Designer Scott Henderson, Sound Designer John Lott, Dialect Coach Shannon Vickers, Stage Manager Dianne Woodrow, Assistant Stage Manager Linsey Callaghan and Apprentice Stage Manager Katherine Dermott.

January 17 – February 26, 2017
The Royal Alexandra Theatre
260 King St. West, Toronto
416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333