Last year I went to a play reading by someone in my writers’ group that chronicled how Kenneth Grahame came to create his famous children’s novel The Wind in the Willows. The play touched upon the difficulties of Mr. Grahame’s marriage and his relationship with his son, who ended up committing suicide at age 20, and simultaneously featured the animal characters of the book as well. The subject matter was intriguing but I had some trouble following the story.
Flash forward to December and I went to see something else by this writer: The King’s Speech. I loved it and I hope David Seidler wins an Oscar for it.
Maybe it was me, maybe it was the script, maybe it was a combo of both on why the Kenneth Grahame piece didn’t take flight for me during that reading. But I was heartened to see that David had something else that not only is flying but flying high.
Baseball players don’t bat a thousand — .300 is a good batting average. They keep coming up to the plate, we keep putting pen to paper. We re-write. We start something new. Either way, we get another shot.
How David came to write The King’s Speech is a fascinating story unto itself – he asked the Queen Mum permission to write about that period in her husband’s life — and she said not in her lifetime. She ended up living to be 101.
Fortunately, David didn’t forget about the idea and in the intervening 28 years from the time he contacted her, he accumulated life experiences that made the script even richer.