22 March 2013 5:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As our politicians keep on failing, affection grows for those who are unelected. Democracy itself is looking fragile

Who do you love more, those you choose or those whom fate or genes have chosen for you? Usually that's a personal question: who sits closest to your heart, the friends or partner you choose, or the family your DNA picked out for you? Put like that, it's an impossible choice. But framed another way – a more public, more political way – it seems we have an answer. And it's not the one you'd expect.

For a clue, book a ticket to The Audience, the play that sees Helen Mirren and writer Peter Morgan return to the character who brought them such success with the Oscar-winning film The Queen. Mirren's back as Her Maj, this time playing opposite not Tony Blair but eight others drawn from what she calls "the Dirty Dozen" who »

- Jonathan Freedland

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