Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 2019–2020 season will launch September 12 with David Seidler’s The King’s Speech, the true story of the unlikely bond between King George VI and his charismatic subject—Australian migrant Lionel Logue—that inspired the Oscar-winning film.
Directed by Michael Wilson, the North American premiere will continue through October 20 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare before playing engagements at other theatres across the country.
The cast will feature Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady, Downton Abbey, The Crown) as King George VI and James Frain (The Tudors, True Blood, The White Queen) as Lionel Logue with Rebecca Night as Elizabeth, Elizabeth Ledo as Myrtle Logue, Alan Mandell as Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang, Kevin Gudahl as Winston Churchill, Jeff Parker as King Edward VIII, John Judd as King George V, and David Lively as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.
Before Queen Elizabeth II, her father, King George VI, reigned—the younger son known by his family as “Bertie” with a chronic stammer, never expected to rule. But when his brother David abdicated the throne to wed American divorcée Wallis Simpson, the man who would become king had to rally a nation preparing for war. Enter an unconventional speech therapist named Lionel Logue, who would help the monarch find his voice.
The production will also have scenic design by Kevin Depinet, costume design by Tony nominee David C. Woolard, lighting design by Tony winner Howell Binkley, projections designed by Hana Kim, sound design by Tony nominee John Gromada, and wig and makeup design by Richard Jarvie. Hannah Wolff is the production’s associate director, Chris Blake is dramaturg, and Kate DeVore serves as dialect coach.