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2016
The King and I

 


Our 2016 production

Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic:

At The Mill Theatre, Dormston School, Sedgley
Tuesday 23rd February 2016 - Saturday 27th February 2016
Evenings 7:30pm - Saturday Matinee 2:30pm

East versus West makes for a dramatic, richly textured and ultimately uplifting tale of enormous fascination. It is 1862 in Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna's assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story. Along with the dazzling score, the incomparable Jerome Robbins ballet, 'The Small House of Uncle Thomas,' is one of the all-time marvels of the musical stage.

We are proud to bring this show to the Black Country (as an amateur production) by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe (www.rnh.com).

Music by RICHARD RODGERS
Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

Book by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II and JOSHUA LOGAN

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Cast List
(In order of appearance)

Captain Orton
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Graham Sinnott
Louis Leonowens
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George Westley-Smith
Anna Leonowens
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Tina Stephenson
The Interpreter & Phra Alack
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Richard Probert
Kralahome
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Adrian Peakman
King Phra Maha Mongut
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Stephen Harper
Lun Tha
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Martin Munn
Tuptim
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Beth Berwick-Lowe
Lady Thiang
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Rachel James
Prince Chulalongkorn
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Louis Elsmore &
Nathaniel Williams
Sir Edward Ramsay
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Christopher McWilliams
Princess Ying Yaowalak
.......
Amelia Kelly &
Tiffany McWiiliams
Uncle Thomas
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Ashleigh Johnson
Little Eva
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Emily Rabone
Little Topsy
.......
Jenny Timmins
Eliza
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Kiri Irani
Simon of Le Gree
.......
Luke Bennett
Angel George
.......
Lisa Bourne

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Photos
(Click images to view larger)

Red Team

Blue Team

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Video Trailer

 

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Synopsis

Siam in the late 1800's. Anna Leonowens, a British widow and schoolteacher, arrives to teach the King's many children. She is part of a plan the King has to show the rest of the world that Siam is a civilized nation. Upon arrival, Anna is outraged that the King has not kept his promise to build her a home outside the Palace. Inside the Palace, the King will not see her. A girl from neighboring Burma is given to the King as a gift, but she is in love with Lun Tha, the man who was chosen to bring her to Siam. Anna sympathizes with the girl, for she has recently lost her husband.

Anna seeks an audience with the King and threatens to leave if he does not make good his promise. She relents upon meeting his adorable children, but every day her lesson plan includes the subject of homes and houses. Heir to the throne, Chulalongkorn, is having difficulties. Her teachings don't always co-incide with what he has been led to believe. The King feels the same and wonders why he is so unsure of himself. Another argument about the house ensues with Anna threatening to leave.

That evening, Lun Tha finds his way into the Palace gardens and persuades Anna to help him meet with Tuptim. Her heart rules her head and she agrees. The King has had news that other countries are calling his country barbaric. Head wife Lady Thiang comes to persuade Anna to advise him, without making it sound like advice. She eventually goes to him and showing a willing to compromise, she abides by his rule that her head should not be higher than his. She cunningly advises him to invite British officers to Siam, and throw a ball in their honour. He puts her in charge of the arrangements, and prays to Buddha for success. In his prayer he promises her a house, as was promised.

Preparations for the ball are underway and guests start to arrive. The King asks Anna about her gown, is it customary to have bare shoulders? Lun Tha and Tuptim meet once more in the gardens, but Anna calls her inside. Tuptim has adapted a play, but it is a thinly disguised attack on the King. However the guests are impressed and promise a glowing report. As they leave, Anna and the King express their differing views on women, and she teaches him to dance the polka.

Guards burst into the room, dragging a screaming Tuptim. She has been found trying to escape with Lun Tha who has been killed. The King goes to beat her but Anna calls him a barbarian and he cannot bring himself to do it. Anna decides to leave, but it is many weeks before the next sailing.

The King grows ill, and upon receiving a moving letter, Anna goes to him. He tells her he is dying, and asks his son to tell him what he would proclaim. Anna's influence shows when he abolishes kowtowing to the King. As Chulalongkorn continues, the King's eyes close and his hand falls. Only Anna and his Royal Advisor see. It's not clear if he's dead or asleep - but Chulalongkorn's proclamations promise a new Siam.

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