King and I reviewPosted on 03 Feb 2014, 19:44
BOS Musical Theatre Group presented their latest offering, The King and I, at Blackfriars Theatre, Boston Nov 25th to 30th 2013. The show tells the true story of Anna Leonowens, the English governess who travels to Siam to teach the King’s children and contains many famous songs such as Whistle a Happy Tune, Shall We Dance, Hello Young Lovers and many more. I caught this show at the dress rehearsal and can heartily recommend it. The superb music is Rogers and Hammerstein at their best and it was well played by an orchestra, under the baton of Lynn Loose. The brightly coloured costumes were a delight to the eye. The scenery was simple but effective and the subtle lighting added to the mood of the show.
Debi Atkinson was outstanding as Madam Anna. She sang beautifully and brought real emotion to the interactions with the King, played with passion and commitment by Trevor Fenton. The cultural clash, between these two individuals, brings tension and excitement to the story as we see the development of a growing understanding and mutual respect between them. The King’s senior wife, Lady Thiang, (played by Sheila Millington) acts as interpreter for both Anna and ourselves. She explains why the King behaves in the way he does in her song. Sheila’s simple, but expressive, rendition of Something Wonderful makes you realise that she loves her King, because despite his flaws he is a special man. Two young talents, Natasha Simpson, as Crown Prince, and Poppy Sinnott, as Anna’s son Louis, mirror the tensions between their parents before becoming friends.
The secondary story is that of a forbidden love between Lun Tha, an emissary from the King of Burma and Tuptim, the gift he brought the King for his latest wife. These characters played by Jack Hallgate, in his first principal role with BOS, and newcomer Lucy Crunkhorn were sympathetically played. The chemistry sizzled between them and when they kissed, it seemed like they would never come up for air. Their songs were well sung and you felt real sympathy for their plight.
Particular mention must go to the dance interlude, staged for visiting diplomats and ably choreographed by Abi Kingsley-Parker. This fusion of ballet, Thai temple dancing and mime tells the story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This was a challenging task which was well designed and executed with style and panache.
The final mention must go to the king’s children who varied in age right down to three years old. They may steal your heart but they will certainly steal the show. Who needs TV? –we have enough raw talent in Boston to please the most exacting critic.
This was another masterpiece from the BOS Musical Theatre group and their next show will be Jesus Christ Superstar which is being performed at Blackfriars Theatre from the 7th - 12th April 2014. Tickets are on sale from Blackfriars box office on 01205 363108 but be quick, the King and I was a sell out!
Author:- Wendy Bull