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Helen Mirren drums up support for Royal outburst?

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Helen Mirren plays HRH The Queen in The Audience

Helen Mirren's castigation of a group of drummers on Saturday (see video below) has made headlines round the world, prompting an outpouring of responses from the online community.

Mirren appeared outside the Gielgud Theatre, where she is starring in The Audience, dressed in full costume as Queen Elizabeth II. She used what she termed "thespian words" to tell the drummers - who were promoting LGBT festival As One In The Park - to quieten down.

According to parade organiser Mark McKenzie, Dame Helen was "effing and blinding" having "really lost her temper".

"Not much shocks you on the gay scene," he added, "but seeing Helen Mirren dressed as the Queen cussing and swearing and making you stop your parade - that's a new one."

Asked to respond to the outburst on Sky News yesterday, Whatsonstage.com's managing and editorial director Terri Paddock said "good on her", echoing the feelings of many in the theatre community.

Actor Rufus Wright, who plays Prime Minister David Cameron in The Audience and joined Mirren on the street, Tweeted: "Just fulfilled a lifelong ambition by bellowing at 25 drummers to shut up. West End theatres got thin walls."

He added: "You should have seen Helen. She came out in full Queen costume and shouted at the drummers too. Honestly. It was breathtaking."

The response on Twitter has been overwhelmingly supportive of Mirren's actions. One user, Scott Harrah, tweeted: "You go, Dame Helen Mirren! West End theatre is no place to play drums if not onstage. She had every right to tell them off."

Mirren herself has responded in good humour. She turned up at Monday's performance sporting a T-Shirt promoting As One in the Park on the front, with a picture of a drum and "Yes please! Just not outside a theatre!" on the back.

"The irony is, I love drumming and I love drummers," the Oscar and Olivier Award-winning actress said outside the Stage Door of the Gielgud. "In another situation I would have been out here enjoying it with all the punters. Unfortunately I was having to do a play at the same time."

How do you feel about Dame Helen's reaction? Let us know in the comments below.