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This now legendary production of The King and I won the triple crown of awards, the Tony, the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle for Best Musical Revival. It was also awarded numerous Tony and Drama Desk awards including Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design, and a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
Whilst the sumptuous costumes and gilded sets have travelled the world, it all started in Australia, with a dream to create a version which was not just a remake of the iconic 1956 film, but a real consideration of this clash of cultures and meeting of minds.
Christopher Renshaw was the perfect choice of director and together with Brian Thomson he travelled to Thailand, where they discovered a deep affection for the rich and nuanced culture of Siam. Australian costume designer Roger Kirk joined and an award winning creative team was born.
"I was dazzled"
When Richard Rodgers’ daughter, Mary Rodgers, saw it, she declared it the best King and I she had ever experienced. "I was dazzled," she enthused. "I actually thought that Chris had changed and improved some lines. But he hadn't changed anything. He'd just found how to emphasise certain things."
"The most ravishing show you may ever see."
The production opened at the Adelaide Festival Theatre in 1991, followed by a highly successful Australian tour.
The show reopened at the Neil SimonTheatre on Broadway in 1996, followed by a US tour, then transferred to the London Palladium in 2000, where it played for nearly two years before embarking on a UK tour.
Audiences were thrilled by the period costumes - including Anna’s enormous crinoline skirts - and by the lavish, meticulously researched sets. With these insights, an exotic fairytale becomes spiced with real culture and real human emotion.
"This King and I is an unstoppable smash"
Don’t miss this dazzling production of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical.
|Music by||Richard Rodgers|
|Book and Lyrics by||Oscar Hammerstein II|
|Based on 'Anna and the King' by||Margaret Langdon|
|Original choreography||Jerome Robbins|
|Scenic Designer||Brian Thomson|
|Costume Designer||Roger Kirk|
|Lighting Designer||Nigel Levings|
|Sound Designer||Michael Waters|
|Musical Director||Peter Casey|
|Orchestrations by||Robert Russell Bennett|
|Dance, vocal, & incidental music arrangements by||Trude Rittman|
|Anna Leonowens||Lisa McCune|
|King of Siam||Jason Scott Lee|
|The Kralahome||Marty Rhone|
|Edward Ramsey / Capt. Orton||John Adam|
|Lady Thiang||Shu-Cheen Yu|
|Lun Tha||Adrian Li Donni|
This production of The King and I is based on the John Frost and Adelaide Festival Centre production first performed on 11 June 1991.
'He (Jason Scott Lee) is utterly convincing, with sharp timing and delivery. He is very adept at capturing both the compassion and humour of the King, along with his menacing presence.'
London Theatre Archive
'The King and I is an upstoppable smash.'
The Daily Express, UK