February 13th, 2020

storyteller doll

The King's Speech

Believe it or not, here is an entry about only one subject. Well, one and a half, since I did mention our pre-theatre dinner.

The King’s Speech: I went with friends on Tuesday night to the National Theatre to see The King’s Speech, a touring production of the play which the movie was based on. We gave Elephant and Castle another chance for dinner beforehand. And, once again, the food was fine and the service was poor. The two of us who had side salads had to practically beg to get dressing for them, for example. And it took ages to get the check. On the plus side, I got a 2 dollar bill in my change. I always get a minor thrill out of those.

As for the play, it was very good. The script is both insightful and witty. David (who became Edward VIII and then abdicated) came across as a truly horrible person, while Bertie (who became George VI) was smart and way more forgiving of his brother’s behavior than I could have been. His struggles with his stammer were a real obstacle and Lionel Logue’s innovations went beyond speech therapy. I remembered much of that from the movie. What I hadn’t remembered from the movie (or, just as likely as it is years since I saw it) is the political intrigue, especially on the part of Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Lang was played, by the way, by the spectacularly named Noble Shropshire.)

All of the performers were quite good. The play is a bit long, at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but didn’t feel bloated. The length is only worth mentioning because it was, after all, a weeknight and I was dragging through the next day. It was worth the exhaustion.

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