The King's Speech
WRITTEN BY DAVID SEIDLER
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL WILSON
The King's Speech made its American Premiere at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater staring Harry Hadden Paton and James Frain. The play that inspired the Academy Award® winning Best Picture is slated to open on Broadway during the 2020 fall season following its North American Tour.
Albert never expected to become the King of England. The shy, fragile Duke of York, afflicted with a profound stammer, was comfortable living in the shadow of his dynamic older brother, Edward. But Edward’s determination to marry a twice-divorced American with Nazi sympathies and to make her his Queen would cause a national uproar that would forever change Albert, England and the world.
On January 20, 1936, with international war looming on the horizon, England’s King George V dies leaving the Monarchy and its country’s future to Edward. Within weeks, King Edward VIII causes a constitutional crisis by announcing his engagement to the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. The marriage is opposed by Parliament and Edward chooses to abdicate the throne for the woman he loves.The crown and the crisis are now left to Albert, who because of his affliction is ill prepared to inspire and lead a people now instantaneously informed by a new invention, the wireless radio.
After exhausting every Royal doctor and speech expert and dreading what might come, Albert's wife Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands, convincing her husband to seek help from an unconventional Harley Street doctor called Lionel Logue. What transpires in the privacy of Logue’s consultation room is the heart of the story. A man destined to lead a nation and a therapist determined to give him a voice. Their success or failure as therapist and patient and, as unexpected friends, will seal their destiny, the destiny of England and, perhaps, the world.
History would have been much different if it were not for ‘The King’s Speech’.