Official: THE KING'S SPEECH to Star Charles Edwards, Jonathan Hyde; Will Tour the UK

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Playful Productions and Michael Alden Productions have announced that the world premier production of the original play of The King's Speech by David Seidler will be brought to the stage next year in a production directed by Adrian Noble.

David Seidler wrote The King's Speech as a play before it became a film for which he won both the Academy Award© and BAFTA for Best Screenplay. Charles Edwards - who recently appeared at Shakespeare's Globe opposite Eve Best in Much Ado About Nothing - will play George VI and Australian born Jonathan Hyde, who was recently seen in The Deep Blue Sea at Chichester Festival Theatre, will play speech therapist Lionel Logue.

David Seidler's story about how King George VI conquered his debilitating stammer with the help of maverick speech therapist Lionel Logue was one of 2010's most successful films, winning countless awards including four Academy Awards and seven BAFTAs and grossing over $400,000,000 worldwide at the Box Office.

David Seidler is now returning to the play he wrote from which he developed his screenplay. The play will receive its premiere at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on February 1st 2012. It will then tour to Nottingham, Bath, Brighton, Richmond and Newcastle.

Adrian Noble will direct this production. Adrian Noble was the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 to 2003. In addition to his theatre work, Adrian has also directed several successful London West End musicals including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Secret Garden. His most recent opera productions include Cosi fan Tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni for the Opera de Lyon, Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera, Carmen for the Opera Comique and Alcina at the Vienne State Opera.

Charles Edwards played the leading role of Richard Hannay to wide acclaim in the Olivier Award winning West End production of The 39 Steps and later on Broadway. He most recently appeared as Benedick, opposite Eve Best, in the hugely critically acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe. Earlier this year he appeared in Peter Hall's production of Twelfth Night at the Royal National Theatre. His film and television credits include An Ideal Husband, Monarch of the Glen, Mansfield Park, Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes and The Shell Seekers.

Jonathan Hyde is an Australian born actor who has worked extensively in theatre, film and TV. Jonathan's theatre credits include Captain Hook in Peter Pan (Kensington Gardens, 02, San Francisco), Rattigan's Nijinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), Jumpers (National Theatre), Antigone (Old Vic Theatre). Jonathan is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has performed in numerous productions including Trevor Nunn's 2007 King Lear and The Seagull, which toured internationally. Film credits include The Contract, The Mummy, Titanic, Jumanji and Richie Rich and his television credits include The Queen, Ancient Rome and The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Anthony Ward's theatre designs include: Sweeney Todd (Chichester Festival Theatre) Enron (Noel Coward and on Broadway), Posh (Royal Court), Mary Stuart (Broadway 2009 Tony Award, Best Costume Design; West End and Donmar), Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Cherry Orchard, A Winter's Tale (Brooklyn Academy Of Music; set design), Glengarry Glen Ross (Apollo) Macbeth (Gielgud, Chichester Festival Theatre, BAM and Broadway), Dying City (Lincoln Centre), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium and Broadway), Gypsy (Broadway), Oklahoma! (National Theatre 1996 Olivier Award for Set Design; West End and Broadway), My Fair Lady (National Theatre), Twelfth Night, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Secret Garden (RSC).

A stutterer himself, British born David Seidler has won huge acclaim for his screenplay of The King's Speech. Arriving in Hollywood aged 40 his first screenplay was Tucker: The Man and His Dream for Francis Ford Copolla in 1988. Always wanting to write about George VI, Seidler started researching in the 1970s. After finding the surviving son of Lionel Logue, Dr. Valentine Logue, now a retired brain surgeon, he wrote to him in 1981. In turn, Logue was keen to talk with Seidler and even share the notebooks his father kept while treating the King, but on the condition that he received "written permission from the Queen Mother" first. Upon writing to her, Seidler received a reply from her private secretary, asking him not to pursue the project during her lifetime. Consequently Seidler abandoned the project in 1982.

The Queen Mother died in 2002, but Seidler didn't start the work until 2005, when he suffered from throat cancer, and returned to the story during a bout of creative work it inspired. In 2011 Seidler won a BAFTA award for Best Original Screenplay, and later an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film The King's Speech.

Full casting for this production will be announced soon.

Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis and Nick Salmon have worked together for nearly ten years and created Playful Productions in 2010. Playful's productions include: Enron (West End and Broadway), Red (Broadway), Krapp's Last Tape (Duchess), Yes, Prime Minister (Gielgud, tour and Apollo) and Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket). As General Manager, productions include: Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych and tour), Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Million Dollar Quartet (Noël Coward) and Clybourne Park (Wyndhams).

Michael Alden began his production career as a film executive for Cannon, Pathe and MGM Studios. As an independent producer his film works include Lesser Prophets for October Films, Just Cause for Warner Bros. and The Hours for Paramount Studios. Under his own banner, the award-winning UnZIPPED, Kissing Jessica Stein and The Zookeeper starring Sam Neill. For the stage: Grey Gardens The Musical (Broadway), Bridge & Tunnel (2006 Special Tony Award®), Bat Boy The Musical (West End ). Off Broadway: Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, The Last Session, Bat Boy The Musical, Sarah Jones, Bridge & Tunnel and Save It For The Stage: The Life Of Reilly, written and starring Tony Award®-winning Charles Nelson Reilly

 

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