Initial Casting Announced for U.K. Tour of The King's Speech, Play That Inspired Oscar-Winning Film

News   Initial Casting Announced for U.K. Tour of The King's Speech, Play That Inspired Oscar-Winning Film
 
David Seidler's The King's Speech, originally written as a play before it was adapted as the Oscar-winning 2010 feature film, is to launch a national U.K. tour in a production that will star Raymond Coulthard as King George VI and Jason Donovan as his Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

It was previously staged at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre in 2012. This new production, which will be directed by Roxana Silbert, will begin performances at Chichester Festival Theatre Feb. 5, 2015, then transfer to Birmingham Repertory Theatre who is co-producing it with Chichester. It will then embark on a U.K. tour, produced by Mark Goucher, Laurence Myers, Lee Menzies, Tom O’Connell for QNQ, Ann Pinnington and Just for Laughs Theatricals.

The play tells the iconic story of King George VI’s relationship with his speech therapist, as the country stands on the brink of World War II. When King Edward VIII abdicates for the love of Wallis Simpson, Bertie, his brother, is crowned King George VI of England. At an office in Harley Street in London, Bertie and his wife Elizabeth (the future much-loved Queen Mother) are meeting Australian maverick speech therapist and failed actor, Lionel Logue. With the support of his wife, Bertie and Logue embark on a journey to overcome his stammer and deliver the now iconic speech broadcast across the globe to inspire his people.

In a press statement, Donovan, whose West End credits include Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, commented, "I am really looking forward to starting rehearsals for The King's Speech and getting into the character of Logue. He was such an interesting and remarkable Australian, who achieved so much in a very challenging situation and I think he will be fascinating to play."

Coulthard's theatre credits include Heartbreak Hotel at Chichester Festival Theatre, The Heresy of Love and Measure for Measure for the RSC and Women Beware Women at the National Theatre. On TV he is best known for playing the role of Miles Egerton in ITV's "Mr. Selfridge" on ITV and played James Schofield in "Hotel Babylon" on BBC. Further casting is still to be announced.

To book tickets for Chichester, contact the box office on 01243 781321 or visit cft.org.uk; for Birmingham, contact the box office on 0121 236 4455 or visit birmingham-rep.co.uk.

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