The King & I: Review from The Blackmore Vale Magazine

Another great review from the Blackmore Vale Magazine. The show is running until Saturday, so why not Get your tickets today?

“Exotic and colourful, with an ethos that is a world away from 21th century England, this Rogers and Hammerstein classic set in 1862 is a challenge for even the most accomplished group.

Key to its success is the casting of The King of Siam – now Thailand – and Anna, the governess brought over to teach his innumerable children.

The role of the sovereign who demanded absolute authority was always going to be in safehands with Philip Redgrave, who is a consummate professional who simply inhabits the characters he takes on.

Sharron Pearcy not only has a wide vocal range, she is adept at portraying the humour in a part, and this she did perfectly, as she endeavoured to make sure ‘her head was never higher than the King’s’.

Two other top local female singers, Heather Pretlove as the King’s first wife Lady Thiang, and Sally Ager as Tuptim, the slave from Burma, are able to not only entrance the audience with their vocal skills, but they also get under the skin of their characters.

Lee Neal (Tuptim’s lover) and Phil Evans, (the King’s trusted but grumpy adviser) are usually the stars of a production, but in their smaller roles, they were both able to add to the talent pool.

Verwood panto regular Sam Shipp as the Prince and Oliver Plummer as Anna’s son Louis, are young actors clearly destined for further roles.

Supporting parts were played by Andy Trant as the ship’s captain, John Bounds as the diplomat, Ron Kite as the interpreter and KD Johnson, as a member of the King’s entourage.

Add to this the chorus formed by the royal wives, the dancers and eleven Royal children and you have a substantial cast – all of whom had clearly been so well rehearsed that you knew nothing was likely to go wrong. And it doesn’t.

The costumes are superb and it goes without saying that with so many catchy numbers such as Hello Young Lovers, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, your feet are tapping much of the time.

The ballet sequence performed by the dancers and the children is simply entrancing, and one of the high spots of this production.

So top marks go to choreographer Suzi DeVilliers, and musical director Lee Redwood.

Most of the cast have to assume Siamese accents, which they do pretty well, however on occasions it was a little difficult to understand the spoken word. Perhaps the sound system needs to be adjusted for this excellent show which runs until this Saturday.”

Marilyn Barber

Review kindly reproduced from Blackmore Vale Magazine.

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