facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

The King And I

First Published 15 June 2009, Last Updated 15 June 2009

Siamese opulence quite literally floods the Royal Albert Hall for this new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King And I.

Performed in the round, the stage even has a moat to depict the misty Bangkok docks which see the arrival of governess Anna Leonowens in the exotic land where she is to be employed teaching the emperor’s many children. Robert Jones’s designs see rich reds and golds meld to create palacial luxury as the story expands to fill the famous venue.

The production sees Laurence Olivier Award-winner Maria Friedman making one of her rare sojourns back into the world of musical theatre, the role of Anna in this classic musical, staged in such a historical venue, seemingly too good to turn down. As the independent woman who stands up for her rights in a country where women are barely more important than slaves, she is as wholesome and heartening as hot apple crumble in winter, her consonants crisp and her heart true and open.

Opposite her Daniel Dae Kim, best known for starring in hit American drama Lost, knows exactly where he is on the stage. He is a prowling, scowling King of Siam, strong and insistent with an unbreakable dignity, though any thoughts of savagery dissipate early on through the affection he shows to myriad offspring.

The problem with a space as large as the Albert Hall is that, though it gives Jeremy Sams the room for glorious design and directorial flourishes, some intimate scenes can feel lost, though Friedman and Dae Kim do their best to fill the cavernous venue with their feisty chemistry. The open space of the stage comes into its own in the second half, though, when the visiting British dignitary is entertained by a huge cast of performers.

Of course, there is also the treat of having the show’s much-loved music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, which lies hidden behind a screen at the back of the palace, another luxury for the magnificent setting of this lavish production.



Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.