The Australian actor and singer Jason Donovan has met a group of stammerers in Leeds as a national tour of the The King’s Speech spends a week at the Leeds Grand Theatre.
He talked with the group on the stage of the theatre along with fellow actor Raymond Coulthard who plays King George VI.
The Australian entertainer portrays speech therapist Lionel Logue. The film version of the play won four Oscars in 2010. It depicts how the then King battled with his stammer to deliver an iconic speech at the outbreak of war.
The meeting at the theatre was arranged with the Stammering Support Centre at Chapeltown in Leeds. It offers highly specialised speech and language therapies for children and adults who stammer.
Stammerer Katy Bailey, who is also a member of the British Stammering Association, said the film had been “huge” for raising awareness. Fellow stammerer Patrick Maddison said after meeting the stars of the show: “It was a wonderful experience seeing how they portrayed stammering on stage.”
Benjamin Bolton, speech and language therapist at the Stammering Support Centre, said, “Everybody involved with the service is delighted excited to meet the cast of the play. The King’s Speech not only highlights the everyday struggle experienced by those who stammer, but shows how beneficial speech and language therapies like ours can be.”
The play runs until Saturday May 30th at the Leeds Grand Theatre.