The King's Speech play to close in West End
- 20 April 2012
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
The stage version of The King's Speech is to close less than two months after its West End premiere.
The producers admitted that the play had followed too quickly after last year's Oscar-winning film, starring Colin Firth.
"At the start of this year, we believed that enough time had passed between the film and our opening," said a producer statement on Friday. "This clearly was not the case."
The play will close on 12 May.
Written by David Seidler before the film version, The King's Speech opened at London's Wyndham's Theatre on 27 March to strong reviews.
Its world premiere, at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud theatre in February, was also a critical hit.
"It is a cracking good story and Seidler deserves credit for seeing its dramatic potential," said Michael Billington in his four-star Guardian review.
The cast includes Charles Edwards as King George VI, Jonathan Hyde as maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue, and Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth.
Joss Ackland plays King George V and Ian McNeice is Winston Churchill. The play is directed by former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble.
The full statement from the producers said: "Two years ago, originating producer Michael Alden was ready to put the play on and the film came along and blocked its path.
"At the start of this year, we believed that enough time had passed between the film and our opening. This clearly was not the case.
"We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished. It is a production of genuine quality that has been critically and publicly acclaimed across the board."
Seidler began researching his storyline for The King's Speech throughout the 1970s and 80s but abandoned it after the Queen Mother asked him not to pursue the project during her lifetime.
After the Queen Mother died in 2002, Seidler returned to writing the play. It was in 2007, at a script reading in London, that film director Tom Hooper's mother spotted its movie potential and told him she'd found his next project.
The film was an international hit, making $414m (£261m) at the global box office. It won four Oscars in 2011.