27 March 2019
Following six nominations for the 2019 Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival, Best Choreography and Best Costume Design; a critically acclaimed Broadway smash hit run and a box office sold out record breaking season at the world famous London Palladium last summer, rehearsals for the UK Tour of The Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award winning The King and I got underway this week ahead of opening in Manchester on 26 April.
Reprising his critically acclaimed Broadway performance as The King will be Jose Llana and performing as Anna, fresh from her West End success, will be Annalene Beechey. They will be joined by Miss Saigon star Cezarah Bonner as Lady Thiang, alongside Kavin Panmeechao and Kamm Kunaree who will reprise the roles of the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim.
Following the Manchester run, the production will then visit Dublin, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Woking and Southampton.
West End critics heaped praise on The King and I, the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while the The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit”. Daily Express hailed it “London’s theatrical event of 2018” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.
Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production and be reunited with the celebrated creative team that brought this majestic production of The King and I to life at the Palladium.
Producer Howard Panter said: “The response from London audiences to this multi award-winning production of The King and I was unprecedented. Critical plaudits, Box Office records and standing ovations at every show – we were overwhelmed with the rapturous response. Coupled with the reaction to the Global cinema screenings of the film version – which was the biggest theatre event in cinemas last year and number one at the Box Office. This really is musical theatre at its very best, so we are thrilled that we can now share this wonderous production with theatre lovers up and down the country.”