The King's Speech

By John Nathan, April 6, 2012

Wyndham’s Theatre, London WC2

● The King's Speech was an unproduced play before it became an Oscar-winning film.
David Seidler, who wrote both, is going to get two hits out of one compelling story - how the King George VI (aka Bertie) relied on an Australian commoner to get over the crippling stutter that made his every speech a terror, and his whole life a misery.

Adrian Noble's production is anchored by the friction and growing friendship between two men from opposite ends of the social spectrum, and the planet.

Both are superbly played. Charles Edwards is majestic and vulnerable as the monarch. Jonathan Hyde is Lionel, the unflappable Aussie therapist.

At its best, this is a fine psychological drama that delves deeply into a royal's dysfunctional childhood and pits a working-man's impertinence against regal imperiousness.

Seidler's witty script unfolds exactly as you would expect, but also exactly as you would want- very enjoyably. (

Last updated: 11:12am, April 6 2012