West End hears ‘Speech’

Tour heads to London stage

“The King’s Speech,” David Seidel’s play that formed the basis of the Oscar-winning movie, will transfer to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theater to start perfs March 22 ahead of a March 27 opening.

Produced by Playful Prods. and Michael Alden Prods., the stage preem is helmed by Adrian Noble and designed by Anthony Ward.

Transfer follows a well-reviewed seven-week U.K. tour. Show stars Charles Edwards (“The 39 Steps”) as King George VI, the role created by Colin Firth, and Jonathan Hyde as Lionel Logue. Emma Fielding plays Queen Elizabeth, Joss Ackland is George V and Ian McNeice plays Winston Churchill. Further casting includes Michael Feast, David Killick Charlotte Randle and Daniel Betts.

Seidler’s screenplay about King George VI conquering his debilitating stammer with the help of speech therapist Logue was one of 2010’s most successful films, winning Seidel the Oscar and BAFTA for best original screenplay and grossing more than $414 million worldwide. Various characters sidelined in the film are placed in stronger light in the stage version.

The production will follow the limited run of Jackie Mason’s U.K. farewell show “Fearless,” which shutters March 17 at the Wyndham’s.

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