In 1936, with economic unease and restlessness growing in the world, Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom, abdicated the throne so that he could marry Wallis Simpson, a divorcée. This meant that the crown came to his younger brother George VI, known as “Bertie.” The chaotic times called for a rousing leader. But Bertie, afflicted by both shyness and a severe stutter, could hardly get through a long sentence, let alone define the nation. This play about his hard-won triumph, written by David Seidler, who himself once suffered from a stutter, sold out in its original West End run. Seidler then adapted the play for the screen, where it became an award-winning film. It is now back onstage for a U.S. tour. —C.J.F.
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