Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mary Kenny: Conquering fear is vocal point of 'King's Speech'

Published 17/01/2011 | 05:00

Colin Firth in a scene from 'The King's Speech', in which he plays King George VI
Colin Firth in a scene from 'The King's Speech', in which he plays King George VI

Whether you are fascinated by the British monarchy, whether you dislike the whole farrago of "the royals", or whether you are mightily indifferent to the entire institution, there is one point in its favour that must be conceded: the film about King George VI and his dreadful stammer is working wonders for anyone with a speech defect.

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'The King's Speech' -- starring the gorgeous Colin Firth and the forceful Geoffrey Rush -- is expected to sweep the boards at all forthcoming movie awards, including, and unexpectedly, the Oscars. It's been a surprise hit in America, where initially it was regarded as "touching on the most conservative chords of period drama", as 'The New Yorker' critic put it.

But it has also touched a chord, resonating with a wider constituency of those who have ever suffered from a stammer, a stutter, or even a lisp: or indeed, who have ever felt frozen with fright about the prospect of giving a public talk.

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