Entertainment & Arts

The King's Speech play to tour UK next year

Colin Firth as Bertie (King George VI) in The King's Speech
Image caption Colin Firth as Bertie (King George VI) in The King's Speech

The stage version of Oscar-winning film The King's Speech is to tour the UK next year from February.

David Seidler originally wrote his story about King George VI for the stage before he developed the film screenplay.

However after the Queen Mother asked him not to pursue the project during her lifetime, he abandoned it in 1982.

Seidler went on to win both the Oscar and Bafta award for best screenplay earlier this year.

The film starred Colin Firth as King George VI, who conquered his debilitating stammer with the help of maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

The role saw Firth win numerous awards for his performance including the Academy Award for best actor.

The stage version will star accomplished theatre actor Charles Edwards - who recently appeared at Shakespeare's Globe in Much Ado About Nothing - in the lead role, with Australian-born Jonathan Hyde as Logue.

Image caption Charles Edwards - who once starred in BBC drama Mistresses - will play the role of George VI on stage

It will be directed by former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble.

Seidler began researching the monarch in the 1970s and after finding Dr Valentine Logue - the surviving son of Lionel Logue and now a retired brain surgeon, he wrote to him in 1981.

Dr Logue agreed to talk with Seidler on the condition he received "written permission from the Queen Mother" first.

However, he received a reply from her private secretary, asking not to pursue it. After the Queen Mother died in 2002, Seidler returned to the story in 2005.

The play will receive its premiere at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 1 February before moving on to tour Nottingham, Bath, Brighton, Richmond and Newcastle.

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