Ahead of the smash-hit musical sensation THE KING & I opening at London’s Dominion Theatre in January 2024, further dates have been added to the current sell out UK tour in Eastbourne and Salford starring Helen George as Anna. Helen is known to millions as Trixie Franklin in Call The Midwife, which returns to BBC One later this year for a Christmas special and a new 2024 series.
Helen George will be reunited with her co-star Broadway and film actor Darren Lee, who played The King on Broadway, as she returns to the stage to reprise the lead role she played earlier this year to sold out theatres across the UK. Both have received rave reviews for their performances.
Directed by Bartlett Sher (South Pacific / My Fair Lady / To Kill A Mockingbird), this Rogers and Hammerstein musical masterpiece will play at the Eastbourne Congress Theatre from 13 December – 23 December and then at Salford’s Lowry Theatre from 9 January – 13 January, alongside the previously announced dates before heading to London’s Dominion Theatre on 20 January for a strictly limited six-week season.
Helen George said: “I am so delighted to continue to play the formidable Anna Leonowens in this incredible production of The King and I am thrilled to bring the show to Eastbourne and Salford ahead of the West End season. I think it so important to bring big lavish West End productions to the regions – Salford and Eastbourne are in for a real treat!”
Following the original Broadway smash-hit run at the Lincoln Center Theater, a sold-out season at the London Palladium (which resulted in the biggest live global event cinema release of 2018) and two record-breaking UK and International tours including Japan, this gloriously lavish production will be brought to the audiences once again by an internationally renowned creative team under Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher and feature a world-class company of over 50 talented performers and a full-scale orchestra.
The critical acclaim for Bartlett Sher’s production has been phenomenal. When the show opened at the London Palladium in 2018, West End critics heaped praise: the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while the The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express, Daily Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.
Set in 1860s Bangkok, The King and I tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
The King and I is a sumptuous, timeless romance from the golden age of musicals, adored by the public and critics alike – and boasting one of the finest scores ever written, including Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You, and Shall We Dance.