Organization: Luca Barbareschi
Production: Casanova Multimedia
“The King’s Speech” is a play set in a surreal London between the 1920’s and 1930’s. It is centred around Albert, the Duke of York, King George V‘s second-born, who stammers. The Duke who is shy and full of complexes, was not expected to take on the throne of England following the death of his father. The heir to the throne was in fact Edward - who did become King - but because of his love for Wallis Simpson, had to abdicate just one year later. So it was that Bertie or Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor was to take the crown with the name of George the VI. An unusual man, a king greatly loved by his people and truly in love with his wife, the wilful and spontaneous Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon. He brought with him a burden of childhood restraints and a need for affection difficult to get from his strict and unemotional royal parents. His insecurity expressed itself through his debilitating stutter, impossible to control during the numerous and embarrassing public speeches he was obliged to make. Furthermore, George VI found himself in the position of being the voice of the people of Britain in one of the most difficult periods in its history, at the eve of the Second World War. What voice was he to have and how could he guide his nation? His wife took him to see the Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. Logue, would have liked to have been an actor but had failed because of overacting. This man used unconventional methods and was capable of probing into people’s souls and finding a cure. He taught the Duke of York how to overcome his nightmare of talking in public. Logue immediately demanded that he should talk to the Duke as an equal. The future king underwent a cure that meshed theatre workshops and psychoanalytic sessions which allowed him to take on his kingly duties on the British throne.
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