2003 – The King And I

Another great success! – Northumberland Gazette, April 2003

With expert guidance from the director Paul Toward and the accomplished musical direction from Peter Brown and his musicians, one felt totally enveloped by a Far Eastern feeling from the very beginning of this production.

The children were delightful and ably looked after by the King’s colourful wives. Everyone in the production kept in character throughout, but special mention must be made of Alistair Brown’s bold interpretation of Prince Chululonghorn, the King’s eldest son and heir, opposite Jonathon Luke’s sympathetic acting in the character of Louis Leonowens son of the governess Anna.

Kathleen Sheel gave a suitably subdued but polished performance as Lady Thiang, the King’s senior wife, and David Penny was well cast as The Kralahome, the King’s advisor.

It was good to see some new young faces, namely Lizzie Payton, Brydie Reay and Grace Niven who blossomed in her character of Tuptim and was well matched with Philip Gregory as her lover.

Anthony Stoker played the King with great panache, but with such tenderness in the final scene, bringing a tear to many an eye.

Lynne Lambert shone in her role as Anna Leonowens showing sensitivity and a loving manner with an excellent approach to the musical numbers.

The choreography of the Uncle Thomas ballet under Penny Brown’s tuition was delightful – as was the whole production with its colourful costumes and eye-catching stage settings, lighting and slick scene changes. Si Amese.

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