Helen Mirren’s lower bowel is to deliver another faultless performance in which she portrays Elizabeth II living with a crippling bowel condition, it has emerged. The play entitled I’d Give It Ten Minutes If I Were You imagines a series of important meetings between the Queen and her private toilet cubicle, while she was suffering from ‘the shits’ at London’s Edward VII hospital.
‘At first I had doubts about allowing my innards to play the Queen’s alimentary canal because as an actor you always want to go forward. This represented a backwards movement,’ said Dame Helen. ‘The ultimate challenge is that your bowels can never ever be as good as the originals.’
Throughout the play, originally titled As You Wipe It, Mirren is thrown into repeated conflict with an embittered toilet cleaner played by Anna Friel. ‘I felt typecast by the whole Brookside lesbian-kiss thing, although I secretly enjoyed it at the time – obviously,’ said Friel. ‘One way to break out of that mould was to put on the Marigolds, reach for the Toilet Duck and spend hours in the theatre bogs scraping shit off the inside of the enamel.‘
‘As an actor, cubicle number three represented a particularly tough challenge. At one point we had to send out for three gallons of Mr Muscle because nothing would shift it –but it stood me in good stead for what Dame Helen’s arse had to throw at me,’ she added.
Last night theatre critic Will Gompertz was quick to heap praise on Mirren’s jacksie. ‘I’ve grown up admiring Helen’s anus from afar and have watched its talent grow and grow,’ he said. ‘It’s one of the most versatile in the business, but this really stretches her as an actress. She really explodes into life in what is an incredibly gutsy performance. ’
‘In the future I would love to play Catherine the Great’s arse - that's an extraordinary colorectal passage. At the end of the day, it’s all about bums on seats"