The king and i book review

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the king and i book review

Theatre review: The King and I at Sunderland Empire

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Published 18.01.2019

We Need to Talk About The King in Yellow

The King and I

Sure, it's old-fashioned and a bit creaky. But The King and I is also - to quote one of its utterly glorious catalogue of standards - something wonderful. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote some of the very greatest entries in the Great American Songbook for shows like Oklahoma! It has to be admitted, though, that the story, partly dulled by familiarity but also lots of clunky exposition, makes the wait between the songs a sometimes hard slog. Oscar Hammerstein's musical dramatisation of Margaret Landon's Anna and the King of Siam chronicles the experiences of a widowed Welsh English teacher who moves to Siam to the court of the King to be a tutor to some of his 77 and counting children from his multiple wives.

On arrival in the auditorium, the first thing the audience sees is that the house tabs are not in use but instead there is a beautifully decorated front cloth filling in the proscenium arch, nicely lit by what used to be called a 'tab dressing'. Then, when the overture starts a piece orchestra—not something we see a lot of in touring shows nowadays! She is dressed in the expected costume of the period s with those huge skirts spread out in a wide circle around her and she is with her son, Louis. Beautifully sung and the packed house was already entranced. The production is, in fact, a mixture of the shall we say? I suppose I should have anticipated these changes, and on one level I probably did because they did not come as much of a surprise.

A mixed-race Anglo-Indian army brat, she managed to pass as a Victorian lady long enough to be hired as a governess at the court of Siam. Her experience in the royal harem was later parlayed into literary fame and a trans-Atlantic career of teaching, writing and lecturing. Equally crucial to these reinventions was her ear for language: not simply her knowledge of Hindi, Marathi, Persian and Sanskrit but the ability to mimic a genteel English accent. In , Mongkut, the king of Siam, asked his agent in Singapore to find his children a governess. A former Buddhist monk and an accomplished scholar who had earlier allowed American missionaries access to the harem, Mongkut was seeking a woman who would teach English without trying to proselytize. With few unmarried British ladies on the spot, Anna Leonowens — apparently ladylike and genuinely widowed — was chosen.

The King and I book. Read 8 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Complete vocal score to the classic with all 14 songs, including: Get.
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