The King and I ★★★★✰
The King and I is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classics and was brought back to the London stage this year.
I remember seeing this years ago at the Palladium and I remember how magical it was, the set, the costumes, just everything about it was outstanding ... This performance however, leaves a little to be desired, I left the theatre feeling a little disappointed, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing.
I’m not going to sit here and bad mouth the show because it was great, the costumes and set were just as amazing as I remembered, but I felt The King (Ken Watanabe), although a great actor, tried so hard with the accent that I ended up losing most of the script, and it wasn’t just me, people next to me straining to hear what he was saying when he was singing, in the interview there was chatter of it.
Kelli O’Hara stole the show as Anne Leonowens, her English accent was spot on and her strong female personality came across perfectly without being over bearing. Anne’s son, Louis (Archie Durrant) came into his own when he sang ‘A Puzzlement’ with the King son Chulalongkorn (Jon Chew), his voice was strong and on pitch.
The voice who stuck out to me though was Tuptim (Na-Young Jeon) who’s voice was so operatic that you were hypnotised by it.
Would I recommend this show? Yes, but I would ask people in the audience to know the story before you go because with Watanabe’s thick accent I felt some of the story was lost.
The King and I is currently playing at the London Palladium until the 29th September.