Whistle a happy tune to this sumptuous production of The King and I (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Whistle a happy tune to this sumptuous production of The King and I
The King and I
Amazingly, this is the first time I’ve seen The King & I – and what a sumptuous show it is.
Paul Kerrison’s production is impressive in every way. The packed Alhambra audience lapped it up – and showed their appreciation at every opportunity, rightly so.
Visually it is stunning , immaculately dressed , beautifully choreographed, cleverly staged – and performed with panache and style.
From the opening sequence to the final curtain there’s not a move or a note out of place.
But this is not a sickly sweet musical. It has some hard edges and just the right level of pathosas devised by those masters of the musical stage Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II whose work endures superbly.
An outstanding ensemble cast does full justice to this much- loved work, which tells the romanticised tale of an English teacher working for the King of Siam in 1862.
Josefina Gabrielle is perfect as the teacher Anna, giving a believable and sympathetic interpretation. Her acting is matched by her beautifully bell-like voice in favourite numbers such as Whistle A Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance?
Think of The King and most people would say Yul Brynner. Forget him, Ramon Tikaram makes the part his own. His interpretation of the ruler of Siam anxious to bring some western education and culture to his kingdom is endearing in every way, from commanding rages to sensitive and humorous moments.
Claire-Marie Hall and Adrian Li Donni as the doomed lovers Tup-Tim and Lun Tha stand out among the excellent supporting characters.
Full marks to chorographer David Needham for all the dance and movement – but particularly the immaculately performed ballet in act two.
This production of the King & I is a right royal antidote to the unseasonall weather and the climate of austerity.
Runs until Saturday.