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King & I, The

The King and I is a marvellous musical, well known for launching the stratospheric career of Yul Brynner who played the King for an astonishing 4,625 stage performances.

Set in the Eastern Kingdom of Siam, now modern day Thailand, the musical starts as Anna and her young son Louie travel to Siam where she has been employed by the King to teach the royal children. When they arrive Anna is enraged to find that part of the employment contract has not been upheld - they are expected to live in the Palace rather than in the house that they had agreed upon. She considers returning home on the boat they arrived in but ultimately decides to stay and go to the palace with the Kralahome, who had come to escort her.

Anna is granted her first audience with the King where he introduces her to his many wives who are intrigued by Anna as well as presenting the royal children - often a popular part in any performance. The King is impressed as Anna already understands that he has employed her as part of his modernisation of kingdom, and she is won over by the children and agrees to stay and teach them and the King's wives (but only the ones who are in favour!)

When foreign visitors call the King a 'barbarian' it is up to him to prove to Queen Victoria that Siam is actually a very scientific country, and that the King is a man of great intellect. Anna helps the King by suggesting they put on a ball to impress the local ambassadors. They work together closely as Anna teaches the court on how to be more Westernised and prepares them appropriately, however the successful evening is ruined when the King is forced to punish one of his newest wives, Tuptim, a gift from the King of Burma who runs away from the palace to be with her lover. Anna is shocked at the King's actions while he struggles to uphold tradition while also trying to make his kingdom a progressive one.

The musical ends on a bittersweet note as the King and Anna finally make up while he is on his deathbed a few weeks later - however the King lives to see his legacy - his son and heir promising a new age and future for Siam.



Uploaded linked items in this show include:

0115 King & I Rooftops - 18x30 0116 King & I Rooftops - 14x30 0117 Eastern Fence & Pompom Trees - 18x33 0118 Eastern Fence & Pompom Trees - 14x30
0358 Distant Siam - 14x30