Despite starting off with technical problems, causing delays to the opening of the show, Curve Theatre Leicester’s production of The King and I was flawless. There was a fine mix of acrobatics, choreographed dances, projected graphics, as well as fine performances from the actors, with songs to add to the mix.
The musical tells the tale of the relationship between the King and Anna, a governess brought in to teach the King’s children, as well as introduce some of the Western traditions to Bangkok. The growing chemistry between the main two actors played a significant part of the storyline, as well as Anna’s longing to be equal with men. The stars of the show were Ramon Tikaram playing the strict leader, and Josefina Gabrielle, as the lovely and headstrong school teacher.
The romance between the pair was reminiscent of the great love affairs seen in old movies, with the slow development of feelings and hidden desires, which was charming to observe. The audience were blown away with the raw emotion which they captured. Tender moments included Anna teaching the King to dance, during a beautiful rendition of ‘Shall We Dance’, and as he begins to pick up the moves he puts a hand around Anna’s waist, adding to the attraction already between them.
The lavish set design was a marvel to witness throughout the musical with, changing for each scene. Giant Buddhas occupied the side of the stage, rotating or disappearing to signal the different rooms in the palace. The sets for each scene were brought in behind a moving screen, often whilst songs were sung at the front of the stage, making the scenery changes smooth and seamless.
The enchanting musical numbers included, ‘Something Wonderful’, ‘The March of the Siamese Children’ and the favourite ‘Getting to Know You’. The live orchestra and powerful singers mesmerised the audience with the delightful scores.
The journey of The King and I moves and uplifts in the way old classics are known for. The power behind the great story is really captivated in this moving portrayal of the unique love story, adapted from Margaret Landon’s book Anna and the King of Siam. Don’t miss out on this triumph of a show, completely compelling in every way.