The King's Speech The Inside TrackNow Closed
What's it all about?
This brand new production lands at Wyndham's Theatre after a sell-out UK tour. Following a remarkable 2011 for the film The King's Speech which earned itself four Oscars and seven BAFTAs (including both for Original Screenplay) the story returns to the stage where it first originated.
David Seidler's original play brings the audience face to face with Bertie, Duke Of York, as he is thrust onto the world stage as King George VI following his brother’s abdication. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around Bertie as he struggles to find his voice as King.
The King's Speech is captivatingly brought to life on stage by an outstanding cast, with a shared warmth and intimacy that can only be experienced in the theatre.
What's the story?
Albert, the second-born son to George V, was always the 'spare' monarch, never expecting to inherit the throne. But when his brother David (Edward VIII) announced abdication to marry an American divorcée, he not only had to face up to the task of leading a Britain on the brink of war, but overcome his stammer too. Enter Lionel Logue, unconventional speech therapist, who needs to give the soon-to-be-King his voice at the most crucial moment.
Who's in it?
Charles Edwards gives an astonishing performance as the King who wrestles to overcome his debilitating speech impediment in time to broadcast to a nation on the brink of war. Jonathan Hyde excels as his maverick therapist Logue, making this unconventional friendship between Royal and Commoner both funny and affectingly authentic.
A bonus treat is veteran actor Joss Ackland playing George V, who has starred in over 130 films in his career including The Hunt for Red October and Lethal Weapon 2. Other cast members include Emma Fielding (Cranford, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and Rock 'n' Roll) as Elizabeth and Ian McNeice (Doctor Who, RSC) as Winston Churchill.
Who is The King's Speech suitable for?
Fans of the award-winning film starring Colin Firth will not be disappointed by the stage version, which places even more focus on the relationship between George VI ('Bertie') and his Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Did You Know?
Ian McNeice, who's playing Winston Churchill, is actually reprising his role as the famous wartime leader. He's already played him in four episodes of Doctor Who and in the Howard Brenton play Never So Good about the life of Harold Macmillan.
David Seidler, who wrote the play and the film's screenplay, saw the King as a personal hero as he too stammered as a child. "The one ray of hope that I was given was the speeches of King George VI," he told filmcritic.com. "My parents would encourage me to listen to the king's speeches. They would say to me, "David, he was a much worse stutterer than you, and listen to him now. He's not perfect. But he can give these magnificent, stirring addresses that rallied the free world"."
It was this personal tie that drew him to writing this story - although it did take a few years. After writing to the Queen Mother to request her permission to tell the story, she allowed it on the condition that he told it after she passed away. She reportedly wrote back to him saying "'the memories of these events are still too painful".
Best Original Screenplay
2011 BAFTA Film Awards
Best Lead Actor
Best Screenplay (Original)
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Outstanding British Film
2011 Golden Globes
Best Actor in a Drama