King's Speech comes to the Glasgow stage

THE KING'S Speech, the play which inspired the Oscar-winning movie, will be in Glasgow next year.

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Jason Donovan takes the role played by Geoffrey Rush
Jason Donovan takes the role played by Geoffrey Rush

Jason Donovan will star in the key role of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue - the part played by Geoffrey Rush in the film.

Other parts are yet to be cast.

The play tells the story of King George VI's relationship with his speech therapist as the country stands on the brink of the Second World War.

Set in 1936, King Edward VIII has abdicated for the love of Wallis Simpson and Bertie, his brother, is crowned King George VI of England.

The new King suffers a crises of confidence due to his stammer. And so he sets of to London's Harley Street to meet with maverick speech therapist and failed actor, Logue.

Soon the eccentric therapist and the King begin their extraordinary journey to overcome the King's stammer as he prepares to address the nation.

The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, proved to be of the most successful British films of all time, winning four Academy Awards.

However, while the play enjoyed a critically acclaimed West End run in 2012, the show suffered because it came too close to the release of the film.

Now it is thought enough time has passed and the stage show will attract an audience.

Writer David Siedler said it was the depth and strength of the play's script which saw it transformed into a film in the first place.

Mr Siedler, who also has a stammer, said: "George VI was a childhood hero of mine, and as I grew up I wanted to write about him.

"It was only when I started to research him that I got these little blips on the radar about Lionel Logue - and one of the blips suggested that he wasn't what he seemed.

"He wasn't a doctor, he hadn't had formal training. I thought; 'That's the story.' "

However, the Queen Mother would not sanction the play until after her death, which meant the film came along first.

l The King's Speech, The Theatre Royal, March 16-21, 2015

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