Skegness’s King and I whistles happy tune

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Skegness Musical Theatre Company presented The King and I at the Embassy Theatre last week.

Katy Meadows and Trevor Fenton were well paired as Anna and the King. They shared some memorable moments and Trevor’s Soliloquy ‘A Puzzlement’ and Katy’s, ‘Shall I Tell You What I Think of Your Numbers’ were very well delivered.

Robert Harris and Jo Fitzwilliams gave compelling performances as the ill-fated lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim. Their ‘Kiss in a Shadow’ duet was beautifully executed.

Sandra Colman gave a moving performance as the King’s head wife, Lady Thiang and there were some beautifully shared moments of empathy between her and Anna; her moving solo ‘Something Wonderful’ was indeed wonderful.

Peter Blevins was an assured Crown Prince Chululongkorn, who tries to emulate his father, but at the same time, thanks to Anna’s teaching, has different ideas how to rule.

Connor Taylor was well cast as Anna’s son Louis Leonowens, capturing the uncertainty of their arrival in Bangkok.

Tony Crowther commanded attention as The Kralahome as did Chris Lilley as Sir Edward Ramsey the English diplomat.

Other notable parts were William Heane as Captain Orton and Joseph Hall in the dual roles of the interpreter and Phra Alack.

But we must not forget the children, in particular the confident Priincess Ying Yaowlak, played by Precious Stewart-Coates.

The march of the Siamese children was one of the highlights in this colourful production, another being ‘Getting to Know You’ with Anna and the Royal Wives and ‘Shall We Dance’ with Anna and the King.

This captivating story set against the backdrop of the Royal Palace was notable for its dazzling costumes capturing the essence of the east, its inspired directing and choreography and the high standard of acting and singing, thanks to the production team of Director Andrea Hall, Choreographer Lisa Jay, Musical Director Peter Coughtrey-Wellstead, pianist Jane Turner and the orchestra.

The King and I, written by Rodgers and Hammerstein is notable for its plethora of now well-known songs, such as ‘Hello Young Lovers’, ‘I Have Dreamed and I Whistle a Happy Tune.’

Certainly this production left the audience wanting to whistle a happy tune.

- Review by Eileen Chantry.