The King’s Speech is well know for the hit film version but it actually started life as a play and returning to that form for a UK tour which stops off at the Theatre Royal. Whatonstage.com Northeast took the chance to catch up with the leads as they prepare for their roles.

The story revolves around the period when King Edward VIII abdicates for the love of Wallis Simpson leaving his brother Bertie to be thrust into the spotlight and crowned King George VI of England.

In a room at 146 Harley Street, Bertie and his wife Elizabeth, (the future Queen Mother) are meeting the maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. Breaking all royal protocol the King and his oddball therapist embark together on an unconventional journey to correct the King’s debilitating stammer and help him deliver the radio address that will inspire his country on the brink of World War II.

Jonathan Hyde plays Logue and believes this is a fantastic story well written and loves the idea that it was a play before and film and is now returning to the stage. And as he put it, Logue is a “a cracking good role”.

But Jonathan loves coming to Newcastle and the Theatre Royal because the audience here are terrific and he always gets a good reception. Out of all the places the tour goes, Newcastle was the first one he looked for and has all his accommodation booked before sorting anywhere else.

As for the Theatre Royal, he loves the acoustics and has not had the opportunity to see the refit and is really looking forward to seeing the new look auditorium.

While Charles Edwards, who plays George VI loved the film and recognises the stage role is well written and the play itself is a beautiful piece of work. The extra thrill is performing in a play where they writer is still alive.

While at home in either the theatre or films, he feels his real home is theatre and cannot wait for the tour to start.

The King’s Speech plays the Theatre Royal 12 to 17 March and has a cast that not only includes Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde, but Emma Fielding and Joss Ackland.