Jason Donovan to star in King’s Speech

Jason Donovan will star in a stage version of The King’s Speech coming to the Oxford Playhouse in May.

The theatre has just announced its spring season, with other highlights including Tom Stoppard’s modern masterpiece Arcadia (April 13-18), delightfully silly Jeeves and Wooster starring Robert Webb (February 10-14), The House of Fun with BBC Radio 4’s Arthur Smith (January 23), Michael Morpurgo’s spellbinding children’s tale, I Believe in Unicorns (April 1-4) and stand-up comedians Gina Yashere (March 5), Andy Parsons (March 25) and Simon Amstell (March 7).

The King’s Speech runs from Monday May 11 to Saturday May 16. Enduring heart throb Jason Donovan takes on the role of Lionel Logue, King George’s Australian speech therapist, who was played by Geoffrey Rush in the hit movie of the same name.

Donovan said of Logue: “He was such an interesting and remarkable Australian, who achieved so much in a very challenging situation and I think he will be fascinating to play.”

Raymond Coulthard, best known for his roles on Hotel Babylon and Mr Selfridge, will take up the role of the king, a part which won Colin Firth an Oscar.

The 2012 West End version of the play starring Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde received strong reviews, but its run was ended after just two months. Producers admitted it had followed too quickly after the film, which grossed £261m worldwide. The Guardian’s Michael Billington said of the play: “It is a cracking good story and (writer David Seidler) deserves credit for seeing its dramatic potential.”