Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Helen Mirren stands by her band

Dame Helen Mirren attended the As One In The Park festival in east London
Dame Helen Mirren attended the As One In The Park festival in east London

Dame Helen Mirren kept her promise to support a troupe of drummers at a gay pride festival to make up for shouting at them.

Earlier this month the 67-year-old actress left the theatre where she is performing on stage as The Queen during the interval, in full costume, to confront the the Batala London samba band, as they had been disturbing the play.

By way of apology Dame Helen attended the As One in the Park for gay and transgender people in east London with film-maker husband Taylor Hackford.

She told the band: "I said I'd be here and here I am. A Dame always keeps her word."

Group member John Rowlands, 35, told The Sun: "She was really sweet. She loves us and she loves the drumming. Just not outside her theatre."

Dame Helen previously admitted using "a few thespian words" during the confrontation and said the group were "very sweet and stopped the minute they knew I wasn't just a batty old woman haranguing them on the streets of Soho".

She said: "In another situation I would have been out here just enjoying it with all the punters.

"Unfortunately I was having to do a play at the same time."

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