Dressed as the Queen, Dame Helen Mirren told 200 drummers promoting a gay festival to “shut the f*ck up” after they disturbed a performance of ‘The Audience’.

Dame Helen, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the production stormed out of the Gielgud Theatre and in no uncertain terms, told the drummers to quiet down.

Various newspapers and social media posters have claimed slight variations on what she said, some saying she was “effing and blinding” while others say she said: “Quiet! I’m trying to do a play in here!”

The drummers paraded past the theatre to promote the As One in the Park festival that is being held later this month. The event, organised by gay clubbing brand Orange Nation that will feature Rita Ora, Katy B and Union J, has now gained more publicity than it could have hoped for from its drumming promotion.

“She was a real pro, she saved the day,” Ben Scotchbrook, and audience member told the Daily Mail. “The noise was really irritating, but she didn’t get ruffled on stage. In the interval I went out and tried to ask the drummers to move on, to no effect. I don’t think they realised they could be heard inside the theatre.”

Audience members say that the second half of the performance was halted for ‘technical reasons’ before Dame Helen came on stage to say: “We’re having a bad night. I went outside dressed as the Queen and told them, not too politely, to ‘go away’ as they were spoiling the play.”

Dame Helen received a standing ovation for her performance both on and off the stage.