The King and I – London Palladium

It’s always lovely to see my students doing well. This week I am doing a shout out to student William Mychael Lee for making his West End debut as Phra Allack in The King and I at the London Palladium. Thank you so much for the tickets William! It was a wonderful evening.

The King and I was one of the first musical films I saw with women in it whom I could relate to. No, not the polygamy! In the 80s I did’t have many role models in the media, except Pocahontas a little later. I think this is why I loved the King and I so much. I’d never seen anything like it. It’s so important to be able to see yourself in the media and I’m so pleased that diversity on stage and screen has improved vastly since I was a child.

Anyway, I digress…

The 2018 West End production does not disappoint. Not only is it sensitive casting but the cast are phenomenal. Obviously William was amazing! (I’m not biased at all!) but also a special mention has to go to Naoko Mori, who is doing a sterling job as Lady Thiang. But really, the show would not be the same without the flawless performance from Kelli O’Hara. What a voice. It’s so good to see a performer who is in complete control of her voice. She speak sings beautifully and then effortlessly sours off into a beautiful legit soprano range. What’s not to love? She is “precisely my cup of tea” and I feel privileged to have see this Broadway star on the West End.

The show itself is absolutely breath taking. Not since Miss Saigon have I actually gasped out loud at the design and staging. The opening sequence with the boat is wonderful. And it sets up a beautiful world. I highly recommend this show to anyone. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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