“The King’s Speech,” the film that swept the Oscars last year, is going back to its roots with a new tour of the play that inspired the film being staged for the United Kingdom.
For those who lived under a rock during the 2011 Oscar season, “The King’s Speech” tells the story of King George VI, who was forced to deal with his stammer (in America we say stutter, but everything is better in England anyways) when his brother suddenly abdicated the throne, leaving him to be king.
The play’s original playwright, David Seidler, also wrote the film’s screenplay. Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde will star in Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush’s roles, respectively. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced.
While the two are fine actors, and the play is well respected, it will be interesting to see the reception the tour will get after the success of the film. Will people ever be able to watch the play again without comparing it to the film? Will Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush forever be the measuring stick for those who take on the roles?
My guess is, it depends on the viewer. For veteran theatergoers and lovers of the play, they won’t let the film interfere with their perception of the new production. However, for those seeing the play simply because they loved the movie, it will be difficult for them to think of anything but the movie while watching the performance. But let’s face it–Firth and Rush will always be associated with those roles, but that shouldn’t interfere too greatly with the show’s success.
The tour will hit various cities in the U.K., including Newcastle, Bath, Brighton, and, of course, London. It kicks off February 1 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. My only complaint is that the tour is in the U.K. We clearly loved “The King’s Speech” stateside, so why not extend the tour across the pond?