King and I - DeMontfort Hall, Leicester
you want to be transported away from Leicester for a couple of hours,
go to see the production of the King and I at DeMontfort Hall
this week. You really felt that you had gone to Siam. What a spectacular
show!! The costumes were exquisite, the scenery excellent and the actors
wove the magic to make believe you were there. Everything was so believeable.
Rodgers and Hammersteins music still appeals to all, even
in this 21st century. I have only ever seen the Yul Brynner and Deborah
Carr version of this story until last night , and I wondered if it could
be as good, well it surpassed all expectations. Kevin Gray made a wonderful
King, his powerful voice resonated throughout the auditorium. Elizabeth
Renihan was just right for the part of Anna and she showed a softness
when it was needed, but also a determination when she stood up for herself.
She had a beautiful voice that was clear, so that every word could be
The other main parts had equally good voices expressing the emotion of
the songs. At times I shed a tear and I feel sure that so did some of
the rest of the audience, especially with the songs We Kiss in a
Shadow - by Tuptim and Lun Tha, Something Wonderful
- by Lady Thiang and Hello, Young Lovers sung by Anna
I had forgotten also all the comedy bits there were, and the audience
were kept amused at the antics of the children and the King himself with
You could see there was a growing fondness betweenthe King and Anna and
the ending was so touching. The Shall We Dance number got
whistles and claps from the audience and the scene that protrayed the
Kings imminent death showed her strong feeling towards him when
she goes back on her decision to leave, to stay and carry on educating
the new young King.
One area I feel that I must mention is that of Tuptims play - Small
House Of Uncle Thomas. This ballet was so beautifully done, the
moves well executed and the costumes stunning.
Special mention and credit must be given to the two youngsters that played
Louis - Harry Simons and Prince Chulalongkorn - Omar Al Khina as they
stayed in character very well and helped to make the whole thing believeable.
It is difficult to put into words everything I thought about this production
but I must hand it to DeMonfort Hall they certainly know how to put on
a winning formula. Keep it up!
Although the production finishes its run at De Montfort Hall on the 17th
of September, the company are continuing on a UK
tour throughout the remainder of September at the Lyceum Theatre,
Sheffield, continuing throughout the months of October and November across
the country, ending at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking on the 3rd of
Click on the graphic above to lead to the production website.