Third Churchill for McNeice

Published November 18, 2011

Ian McNeice, Joss Ackland and Emma Fielding are to join the cast of The King’s Speech, which comes to Richmond theatre in March as part of a UK tour.

The trio joins the already announced Charles Edwards and Jonathan Hyde, who play King George VI and his speech therapist Lionel Logue in David Seidler’s play about the king’s attempts to overcome his speech impediment.

McNeice, who plays Winston Churchill, has found something of a niche playing the British wartime PM in recent years, having previously depicted him at the National Theatre in Never So Good and for TV series Doctor Who. A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, McNeice appeared in the 1980 production of Nicholas Nickleby, as well as productions of The Merry Wives Of Winsdor, Anna Christie and Coriolanus. He is also well known for playing Bert in TV series Doc Martin.

Veteran actor Ackland (George V), has worked on stage and screen for over six decades. A former member of the Old Vic theatre company, his stage work includes the original West End cast of Evita and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. His numerous films have included The Hunt For Red October, Lethal Weapon 2 and White Mischief.

Fielding (Queen Elizabeth) is known for playing Miss Galindo in the hugely popular BBC series Cranford. On stage, she has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, appeared at the National Theatre in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia and his Rock N Roll in the West End. She was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2002 for a West End production of Private Lives, going on to recreate her performance on Broadway.

Adrian Noble’s new production of Seidler’s The King’s Speech follows the hugely successful Oscar and BAFTA-winning film of the story, which Seidler based on the play he wrote first. He has been researching the story of Logue’s relationship with George VI since the 1970s.

The King’s Speech plays at Richmond theatre from 5 to 10 March prior to an anticipated West End transfer.

CB