Anna Leonowens travels with her young son Louis to Siam to teach English to the many, very many, children and many wives of the King. While there she hopes to influence the King and get him to bring his country up to date and follow perhaps the more open world of the Europeans.
Jessica Gómesing as Tuptim and Ethan Le Phong as Lun Tha form a lovely pairing as the forbidden lovers and their two duets of We Kiss in a Shadow and I Have Dreamed may well bring a tear or two to the eye. It has to be said that Gómesing also has the most amazing voice, shining early on with My Lord and Master.
Simply put, this is an incredible production. It is without question the most lavish touring show I have seen at Milton Keynes. The atmosphere of Siam and the palace drips from the stage with Michael Yeargan's stunning set, setting its stall out in the very first scene with an amazing boat sequence. Onwards into the palace an innovative gliding pillars system brings the King's palace to life and gives a true feeling of its size. Catherine Zuber's costumes create the period in intricate detail as well, making the whole visual aspect impeccable.
Director Bartlett Sher has created a gem of a show with this hugely talented team, a more than worthy recreation of the classic show, which works for old and new fans alike as this production doesn't look to change the original as this feels much like any original Rodgers and Hammerstein. While it is a long show at 2 hours 55 minutes including the interval, musical fans and non-musical fans alike will delight in this magical show.
Stunning, beautiful, divine, breathtaking, astounding, marvellous, etc, etc, etc...
Performance reviewed: Wednesday 26th February 2020 at Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes.
The King and I runs at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 7th March 2020.
Further details about Milton Keynes Theatre can be found at http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre/
Photos: Matthew Murphy