We use cookies to deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to use of cookies.  Learn more.

Review: THE KING AND I makes its mark at Hull New Theatre



The King and I, the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, has arrived at Hull New Theatre for a limited run, and it’s absolutely enchanting. You can catch it every day until this Saturday. This award-winning Broadway production is a must-see, with its fantastic score, captivating story, and top-notch cast. Best of all, it’s another big win for Hull to be part of the UK tour after the show’s successful run at The London Palladium.

I’ll admit, I’ve not been a fan of The King and I in the past. My wife, Laura, tried to make me watch it years ago, but I just couldn’t get into it. Love makes you do crazy things, though, so I decided to take Laura to the show myself rather than send along our usual theatre pundit, Amanda. And I’m glad I did. Watching it live at the theatre last night, I found myself completely engrossed and captivated by the performance. It reminded me of The Sound of Music, another Rogers and Hammerstein production that I’ve always enjoyed. So, my recommendation to anyone who’s been on the fence about The King and I, or who loves The Sound of Music, is to go and watch it while the tour has stopped in Hull this week.

Since Hull New Theatre was refurbished in 2018, it’s been attracting some truly impressive musical tours, like this one, straight from London. It just goes to show that Hull is really becoming a cultural hotspot.

Annalene Beechey stars as Anna Leonowens, the British schoolteacher who goes to Siam to teach the King’s children, while Darren Lee plays the King of Siam, a strong yet vulnerable character. The pair of them have great chemistry, which adds real depth to the story. Beechey’s Anna is both strong and compassionate, and Lee’s King is a mix of commanding and endearing.

The supporting cast is equally brilliant. Dean John-Wilson and Marienella Phillips shine as the star-crossed lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim, and their singing voices are simply stunning. Their performances bring something special to the show.

The King and I boasts some truly memorable musical numbers, like “Whistle a Happy Tune” and “Shall We Dance,” and this production doesn’t disappoint. Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, brings the timeless score to life, filling the theatre and transporting the audience to 19th century Siam.

The choreography is spot-on, with elegant and intricate moves that add to the visual spectacle of the production. The performers display exceptional skill, moving in perfect harmony with the music. The “Small House of Uncle Thomas” ballet, in particular, is a standout, showcasing the talents of the ensemble.

The set and costume design are truly breathtaking. The lavish costumes, designed by Catherine Zuber, evoke the splendour of the Siamese court, while the set, designed by Michael Yeargan, immerses the audience in the grandeur of the royal palace. The attention to detail and craftsmanship are evident throughout the production.

This wonderful production of The King and I has been put together by an internationally renowned creative team, with over 50 West End and Broadway performers in the world-class company. They’ve created a show that’s not just visually stunning, but emotionally resonant as well.

So even if you’ve never seen or liked The King and I previously but have enjoyed The Sound of Music like me, I encourage you to give it a chance while the tour is in Hull this week.

The spectacular cast, mesmerizing music, and breathtaking visuals will make for an unforgettable experience. If you can secure tickets, this classic musical is a must-see.

Don’t miss your chance to see this timeless masterpiece right here in Hull, showing at 7:30pm each day until Saturday with 2:30pm matinees today (Wednesday), Thursday and Saturday.

Tickets are still available at hulltheatres.co.uk

Hull news, events & special offers

Our weekly digest rounds up the best things happening around Hull & East Yorkshire.


Got something to share?

We want to share everything positive that’s going on around Hull. We have loads of great ways to share your stuff:
Click the button above or email us at events@hullwhatson.com
*Registration required
Featured Hull Events
Thu 6 Jul @ 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Unmissable offers!
Places you should visit

Hull news, events & offers by email

Stay up to date on everything good happening locally!