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Previewed 22 March 2012, Opened 27 March 2012, Closed 12 May 2012 at the Wyndham's Theatre in London
The stage version of David Seidler's original play The King's Speech in London starring Charles Edwards, Jonathan Hyde, Emma Fielding and Joss Ackland and directed by Adrian Noble.
David Seidler's original stage 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 cast for this stage production of The King's Speech in London features Charles Edwards as 'King George VI', Jonathan Hyde as 'Lionel Logue' and Emma Fielding as 'Queen Elizabeth' with Joss Ackland as 'King George V' along with Lisa Baird, Jeremy Bennett, Daniel Betts, Michael Feast, David Morley Hale, David Killick, Adam Lilley, Ian McNeice and Charlotte Randle. The production is directed by Adrian Noble, designed by Anthony Ward, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Mic Pool, choreography by Nikki Woollaston and projections by Jon Driscoll.
"This production of David Seidler's original play is deeper and more revealing than the 2011 Oscar-winning film version which starred a rather stony-faced Colin Firth. We are closer to the sensitivity which explores so touchingly the stammering struggle of a man not born to be king, but as King George VI became just that after his older brother forsook the throne for the American divorcee Wallis Simpson... Charles Edwards' playing of Bertie shows us the vulnerability and near-despair that makes him stammer, an inheritance of the bullying from his foul father, King George V... Jonathan Hyde is superb as Lionel Logue, coaxing the best from Bertie, instilling in him an increasing confidence that makes him unafraid to address the nation without the vocal stumbling... Adrian Noble's direction never falters in this hugely entertaining, even moving play and Anthony Ward's clever set, with its huge centre-stage frame, gives us a sense of peering through a window." The Daily Express
"Adrian Noble's cynical and unnecessary production looks in every respect like an economy-class version of the film, with a cast of almost uniformly inferior actors playing out the scenes in an inferior manner against inferior backdrops. Somewhere along the line, the work has managed to lose, too, all of its dramatic tension. There is no sense of build-up to what ought to be the king's climactic big speech: one had the impression Charles Edwards was simply forgetting to stutter in the early scenes and he seemed, on the whole, far too assured. Without the requisite momentum, the piece inevitably drifts... If the production has one solitary, glittering jewel in its base-metal crown, it is Joss Ackland as King George V. An imposing presence at 84, he dominates the stage in his all-too-fleeting appearances. This is a great actor who understands that even stiff and uniformed characters from history have still to be played as human beings to make any impression at all." The Sunday Telegraph
"Author David Seidler has been able to reinstate many of the scenes deemed unnecessary for the screenplay (which he based on his then-unperformed play). The story remains, essentially, one man's search for his voice and his right to use it, as Bertie Windsor not only overcomes his stammer but also grows into a role he never sought or expected: that of King George VI. But in the play, the political context is much clearer than in the film, with Churchill and a camp and creepy Archbishop of Canterbury also given their voices. More, too, is made of Edward VIII, not just as a Nazi-lover and a playboy but a brutish brother who called his stuttering sibling 'B-b-b-bertie'. Compared with Colin Firth's version, Charles Edwards's Bertie has added bark and bite. More importantly, the increased self-awareness and intelligence Edwards gives his the view of Bertie's Aussie speech therapist, Lionel Logue: that he will 'make a bloody good King'. Noble's top-notch, admirably fluent production moves from screen to stage without a stutter. Served with lashings of Elgar, it's a right royal treat." The Mail on Sunday
The King's Speech in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 22 March 2012, opened on 27 March 2012 and closed on 12 May 2012.