Oscar winning King’s Speech hits London stage at Wyndham’s Theatre

07:53 28 March 2012

Actor Colin Firth after receiving the Freedom of the City of London, at the Guildhall Art Gallery

Actor Colin Firth after receiving the Freedom of the City of London, at the Guildhall Art Gallery

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Famous names welcomed The King’s Speech to the London stage last night, around a year after the film triumphed at the Oscars.

Brenda Blethyn, Dame Kelly Holmes and Gina McKee were among the audience for the show’s official opening at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

David Seidler, who originally wrote the story about King George VI as a play before creating the screenplay, was also expected to attend the performance.

The film, which won four Oscars and seven Baftas, stars Colin Firth as Bertie, the king who overcame his stammer with the help of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

The play stars Charles Edwards in the lead role, Australian-born Jonathan Hyde as Logue, and Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth.

Directed by Adrian Noble, it also features Joss Ackland as King George V and Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill.

The production had its world premiere last month in Guildford, the first time it had ever been performed on the stage.

Seidler began working on the play in the 1970s and 1980s but abandoned the project when the Queen Mother asked him not to pursue it during her lifetime.

He returned to it after her death and went on to win a Bafta and an Academy Award for the screenplay.

Dame Eileen Atkins, MPs Kenneth Clarke and Harriet Harman and broadcaster Sian Williams were also in the audience tonight.

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