The King and I
Helen George stars in Golden Age delight, The King and I musical
Enjoy a big, bold, classic Broadway musical with The King and I, starring Call The Midwife’s Helen George. This Tony Award-winning production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical plays a limited season at the Dominion Theatre, after premiering on Broadway and delighting audiences on an acclaimed UK tour.
In 1862, a young widow and governess called Anna is summoned by the King of Siam to tutor his children. She travels halfway across the world from America with her son in tow and soon finds herself butting heads with her royal employer. As the pair wrangle with cultural differences, a surprising and tender relationship grows.
The King and I musical, based on Margaret Landon‘s novel Anna and the King of Siam, is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best-loved shows, which is no mean feat for a multi-award-winning duo whose back catalogue includes hit after hit. Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music are just some of their most famous works.
The King and I holds a special place in many theatregoers’ hearts however; audiences will be swept right back to the glamour of Golden Age of Broadway as the sounds of “Whistle a Happy Tune”, “Shall We Dance” and “Getting to Know You” ring out across the auditorium in this heavenly revival, performed by a company of over 50 and a full-scale orchestra.
The musical first opened on Broadway back in 1951, and was met with staggering popularity and acclaim, including Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actress (for leading lady Gertrude Lawrence, who sadly died in 1952 when she was still performing in the show) and Best Featured Actor (for Yul Brynner). Countless revivals have been staged in the 70 years since, including a 1956 film starring Brynner and Deborah Kerr.
This lavish and spirited production at the Dominion Theatre is directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, who has earned massive acclaim for his clear but sumptuous revivals of classic shows including South Pacific and My Fair Lady. His interpretation of The King and I premiered in New York in 2015, starring Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe. Sher was praised for his “resplendent” (The New York Times) production, and it won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.
Sher’s The King and I musical later transferred to the London Palladium in 2018, where it continued to be a huge success and earned six Olivier Award nominations. In 2022-23, the show also embarked on a UK tour, starring Helen George.
George stars as Anna, opposite Darren Lee as The King, as the show returns to London this year for a limited season. George is best known for her role as upbeat and spirited Trixie in Call The Midwife, and her stage credits include My Cousin Rachel at Theatre Royal Bath and After Miss Julie. Lee is a respected Broadway performer and director, with credits including South Pacific.
The King and I musical in the West End has set design by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennet. The classic showtunes have never sound as clear, majestic and brimming with warmth and humour as they do in this stunning revival.
Gorgeous sets and costumes, an unbeatable score and classic story make The King and I unmissable, and the perfect choice for anyone who wants to sink into the joys of a magnificent Broadway show that doesn’t hold back on bells, whistles and crowd-pleasing storytelling. It is in London from 20 January – 2 March 2024.
The age rating for The King and I musical is to be confirmed.