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THE KING'S SPEECH Makes its West End Debut

As Playful Productions and Michael Alden previously announced, THE KING'S SPEECH will open tonight, 27 March, at Wyndham's Theatre.

The production also aims to open on Broadway in Fall 2012.

The world premier production of the original play by David Seidler took place on Friday 10 February at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and continued on tour around the UK until 17 March. You can read our review round up of the touring production here.

Directed by Adrian Noble and designed by Anthony Ward, the cast includes Charles Edwards as King George VI, Jonathan Hyde as Lionel Logue, Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth, Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill, Michael Feast as Cosmo Lang, and Joss Ackland as King George V. Further casting includes Charlotte Randle as Myrtle Logue, David Killick as Stanley Baldwin, and Daniel Betts as King Edward VIII.

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 for which he received an Evening Standard Best Actor Nomination – plays King George VI, and Australian born Jonathan Hyde, who was recently seen in The Deep Blue Sea at Chichester Festival Theatre, plays 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.

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. Last year Charles appeared in Peter Hall's production of Twelfth Night at The 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), Diaghilev in Rattigan’s Nijkinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), Jumpers (National Theatre) and Antigone (Old Vic Theatre). Jonathan has performed with the RSC, most recently in Ian McKellen's King Lear, as Kent, and as Dr Dorn in The Seagull, which toured internationally. Film credits include The Mummy, Titanic, Anaconda, Jumanji and Richie Rich, and his television credits include Spooks (now showing), The Queen and The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Emma Fielding is well known for her roles in the television series Cranford and The Ghost Squad, Fielding has also appeared in numerous RSC and National Theatre productions and was nominated for the 2002 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Private Lives. The show then transferred to Broadway where she won a Theatre World Award.

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 King 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 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.

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