Absolutely enchanting! No expense has been spared on the stage musical The King and I.
Set in the 1800s, the story tells of a widowed teacher who comes to teach the King of Siam’s children - of which there are many. She arrives to find a dogmatic king whose treatment of his wives and women in general is highly questionable. As a story, it could have seemed rather dated but somehow it still works. Revisiting classics can be fraught with problems re political correctness, but this performance just about gets away with it.
The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein is timeless, and the songs are buried in our consciousness for ever. We all know Shall we dance; I Whistle a Happy Tune and Hello Young Lovers. Annalene Beechey who plays Anna the teacher sang beautifully. Her voice is like an angel with the most exquisite performance you’ll ever see on stage. Daren Lee who played the King of Siam had just the right sense of humour to endear himself to the audience despite his dubious treatment of women! Of course there were many other great performances from the cast.
Within the story is a small ballet called The Small House of Uncle Thomas. This small troupe put on an excellent ballet performance. This was most definitely a highlight of the show. The children were absolutely endearing and gained the biggest applause. Some of them will be the stage stars of the future. Look out for sumptuous costumes and the palatial stage set which creates an effective backdrop to the story.
The King and I is on at MK theatre until 7th March. Tickets from the Box Office 0844 871 7652 or online here www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes