The King’s Speech – Reviews Round-up

Reviews of The King’s Speech at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

Charles Edwards as George VI and Jonathan Hyde as Lionel Logue in The King's Speech
Charles Edwards as George VI and Jonathan Hyde as Lionel Logue in The King's Speech

The original play of The King’s Speech, which was turned into an Oscar winning movie starring Colin Firth, has opened in the West End.

Starring Charles Edwards as George VI, Jonathan Hyde as Lionel Logue and Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth, the production opened at the Wyndham’s Theatre this week.

Adrian Noble’s production of David Seidler’s stage version of The King’s Speech won an Oscar for Seidler for the screenplay he wrote for Tom Hooper’s film.

See reviews from the Guardian, TimeOut, Variety and more below. Please note that some reviews covered this production whilst on its pre-West End tour.


Book tickets to The King’s Speech at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London

Average rating score for this production


"...even though I am not wholly convinced that a West End staging of The King’s Speech is something we urgently need, this is a slick, appealing package. The two key roles are inhabited fully - and at times thrillingly."

"Edwards is more than just technically convincing as a man battling to overcome a fatal flaw. Robbed of the movie close-ups Firth so impressively used to reveal the pain behind the eyes, Edwards takes the stammer into his whole body. He vividly conveys a kind of physical and emotional blockage which prevents him from speaking. But he also allows audiences to see how this is at war with the stiff, formal demeanor permanently required of a man of his station. It's not his costumes that give him status and emotional weight, it's his performance."

"Until I saw it on stage, I had not realised how much Seidler's piece owed to Alan Bennett's The Madness of George III. In both we see an embattled royal subjected to all kinds of curative humiliations by a rogue outsider: in Bennett's play it was a bluff Lincolnshire parson whereas in Seidler's it is a tough Aussie speech specialist in the shape of Lionel Logue."

"As the shy, dutiful man nicknamed 'B-b-b-bertie' by his careless elder brother, Charles Edwards is outstanding. He betters Colin Firth's film performance, bringing a subtlety, understated wit and mercurial flair that Firth, an intelligent but square presence in all his film roles, lacks. Edwards has been on the cusp of a major breakthrough for some time. Let's hope this richly appealing but MOR prequel to 'our finest hour' is a vehicle to the stardom he so richly deserves."

"Fundamentally, this is theatreland's celebratory hurrah, coinciding with the royal jubilee. Perish the thought that any ignoble commercial opportunism could be at work."

"The former RSC chief Adrian Noble directs a production that is elegant, lucid and witty, with a revolving stage design to conjure different locations, as well as highly effective use of period film footage."

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