The King and I

Hull New Theatre, Kingston Square, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, HU1 3HF United Kingdom

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    1 Review on “The King and I”

    • Laura Bushnell
      Laura Bushnell 6 days ago

      Theatregoers are in for a fantastic treat at Hull New Theatre for the next ten days. The King and I has rolled into town and I was so excited to be in the audience for this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

      Wow! What a production. Sitting in the auditorium which was rapidly filling up, I read the programme; can you believe that the front cloth has 500 books of gold leaf (each book has 25 sheets)? I knew this was going to be a lavish production.

      Those who don’t know the story, it’s about Mrs Anna Leonowens (Annalene Beechey) who goes to Siam (now Thailand) to teach English to the King’s children. It’s a story of mixed cultures, young love and the authority of the King.

      The King of Siam is played by Darren Lee. He and Beechey have a great rapport on stage together, with lots of comic moments, especially when Anna is ordered by the King never to have her head above his. The King then proceeds to take positions, lower and lower towards the floor, forcing Anna into positions that no English teacher would normally get into. This gives the audience a laugh when Anna flops onto her back on the floor in mock defeat.

      No production of The King and I is complete without the wives of the King and their children. Although the King has in excess of 67 children, we only see a few of them. These are the children of the favoured wives. The march of the children into meet Mrs Anna is delightful as each child enters, bows to the King and then goes to Mrs Anna and greets her. The children in this production were so cute, cheeky yet charming and sang in harmony. Each wore an outfit in a similar rich colour to their mother. As each came on, you didn’t think they could get more charming and yet they did.

      Costumes. Well, they were so lavish. Reds and golds and purples as befits a Royal household. All in beautiful fabrics, all stunningly styled which added to the lavishness of the whole production. Apparently the costume department used 2,500 meters of fabric and it was all absolutely gorgeous.

      We were treated to wonderful songs by Mrs Anna and the children, “Getting to know you” was a joy. It put a smile on the audience’s faces. This is one of those uplifting musicals you could watch again and again.

      The scenery for this production is stunning. The garden scene consists of 22,000 flowers on flower hangers which hang down, (all handmade) the palace is lavish and regal, with pillars dropping in and moving to accommodate the characters. Everything is smoothly moved by the multi talented singing and dancing cast.

      This production came from the West End. You can tell. Everything is sumptuous and lavish. Scenery is simply stunning. Every member of the cast was in sync and it made for a fantastic evening’s entertainment. The audience gave a standing ovation and left elated. If you took your children to watch this, they were impeccably behaved as there was always something to enthral them on stage. This is a long production lasting 2 hours and 55 minutes with one interval but it didn’t seem to last that long as it was so gripping.

      It’s a fantastic evening, watching a traditional musical with a belting story and an amazing cast. Don’t miss it. This is West End Theatre in our City.

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