The King and I, is the latest production of an old theatre classic, to come out of the Curve Theatre in Leicester. The show has been running since the 3rd of December, with a full house every night, which shows that the cold weather and snow is not putting people off.
The King and I is a well established musical, based on the novel ‘Anna and the King of Siam’ by Margaret Landon. The Musical was developed by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers in the 1950’s and has had many productions, all over the world since then. The production is at the forefront of issues that exist in today’s modern world with clashes between eastern and western ideas. This newest production is directed by Paul Kerryson, with Julian Kelly as musical Director and choreography is by David Needham; a well experienced and renowned team, and the very same creators of another popular Curve musical production, ‘Hot Stuff’.
The story is an endearing one, which is set in 19th century Siam, which now forms part of Thailand. It tells the story of a British governess (Anna), who is a teacher from England, brought to the court of the King of Siam to tutor his many children. The story depicts an epic conflict of interest between eastern and western cultural values, and shows how eventually two very different worlds can co-exist in one modern world; a very relevant production when considering the issues of society today.
Star of the show is the highly coveted Chook Sibtain, playing the King of Siam. He is joined by equally popular Janie Dee, playing Anna. Such fantastic and experienced actors help bring this classic production to life and they are joined by a number of talented cast, including a group of young, up and coming performers from the local Leicester area; making the show pioneering in its efforts toward developing a cultural Leicester. These young performers have had an immense opportunity to be part of a well known production and to work alongside big industry names. These young performers, ranging between five and fourteen years play the King’s children, who are taught by school teacher, Anna.
The traditional Asian style costumes and Asian influenced set design added a visually stunning dimension to the performance, treating the audience to an authentic and traditional eastern experience; Sara Perks has done magnificent job in this area as Costumes and Set Designer. Musical excellence comes in the form of a nine piece orchestra, who plays several classic songs including “Getting to Know You”, “Hello Young Lovers” “Shall We Dance” and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”.
The second act of the performance is an excellent Siamese eastern twist on the American classic, ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, which tells the heartrending story of an evil King hunting down an escaped slave. This ballet interpretation is a superb piece of choreography by David Needham. A must watch performance that depicts the issues that existed over fifty years ago, but still lie at the heart of our society today.
This fantastic show runs until the 15th January, with performances every weekday, Saturdays and with matinee performances on Wednesdays. Ticket prices range from £18 – £29, with concessions for under 16’s and over 60’s. To purchase tickets and for further information visit the Curve website www.curveonline.co.uk, or alternatively call the box office on 0116 242 3595.