The King's Speech on stage - tickets for the 2012 UK touring production on sale now
Thanks to takings of around £250 million and four (that's FOUR) Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (for Colin Firth who played said King), the tale of The King's Speech needs little introduction.
Even if it were decidedly not your cup of tea, you would still be aware that it is the story of King George VI of England, his unlikely (and unwelcomed) assent to the throne and his severe, crippling stammer. The true story of how unconventional Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue helped 'Bertie' master his stammer and, as a result, grow as a man into a strong, war-time monarch, was brought to life via David Seidler's screenplay.
Less known is that Seidler, who also picked up an Oscar for the screenplay, began work on The King's Speech around thirty years ago. He put the project on indefinite hiatus until the death of the then Queen Mother (George VI's queen), at her request. After the Queen Mother's sad demise in 2002, work quietly began again three years later.
Following the all-conquering film version comes the stage play. Directed by former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble, the production heads off around the UK next year. Tasked with following Firth and Geoffrey Rush in the two main roles are Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde respectively.
Edwards has a string of accomplished stage and screen credits to his name, including his 2005 Broadway debut as Richard Hannay in 'The 39 Steps', on television, 'Mansfield Park' and 'Monarch of the Glen', and, this year, in the stage productions of 'Twelfth Night' and 'Much Ado About Nothing'.
The Australian-born Hyde's CV is equally as strong. Familiar as a Russian agent in the recent, final series of the BBC spy soap 'Spooks', his impressive showreel boasts cuts from 'Titanic', 'Jumanji' and 'The Mummy', and recent stage credits in works by Chekhov and Shakespeare.
The King's Speech opens in Guildford on 1st February 2012, moving onto runs in Nottingham, Bath, Brighton, Richmond and Newcastle, including some matinée performances.
We have a selection of tickets available now, priced from £27.50 to £37.50, depending on venue.