Suffolk man is raising the profile of stammering at a Lowestoft theatre

As critics continue to heap praise on award-winning movie The King's Speech, a Lowestoft man is hoping its inspirational story will help raise the profile of a debilitating condition he has lived with since childhood.

The critically-acclaimed film, starring Colin Firth as King George VI, explores how speech therapist Lional Logue helped the King overcome his stammer.

It opens at Lowestoft's Marina Theatre this Friday and with cinema-goers clamouring to see the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated movie, stammerer John Thompson has set up a special display in the foyer.

Mr Thompson's information stall will offer support to local people experiencing the crippling condition. As well as material from the British Stammering Association, the Dominic Barker Trust, the Lidcombe Project - a therapy course for children and the Maguire Programme - the therapy course used by singer Gareth Gates, there will be details on Mr Thompson's own support group for east Suffolk and Norfolk.

For more than half a million people in the UK, stammering is a daily source of frustration and a barrier to leading a normal everyday life.

Mr Thompson has been running a support group for people who stammer in the east Suffolk and Norfolk area for almost five year. Members, aged from 16 to over 60, meet once a month at The Rushcutters Inn, Yarmouth Road, Thorpe, near Norwich, and recently held an open day.

Supporting Mr Thompson's cause, Marina theatre manager Martin Halliday said: 'Not a great deal was known about the issue of stammering until a few years ago when the television show Pop Idol featured Gareth Gates.

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'Since then a lot more information and support has become available and the critically-acclaimed The King's Speech has once again brought the plight of those living with the condition to the fore.

'We are delighted to be working with John and his support group to publicise the valuable help which is available both in this area and nationally.'

The King's Speech is being screened at the Marina until Thursday, February 17. Due to unprecedented demand for tickets, there will be extra screenings between February 18 and March 3. For more information call the box office on 01502 533200.

Stammering information is on display between 10am and 4.30pm and from 7pm until February 17.