The King And I coming to Birmingham

By Leigh Sanders | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

There is still time to buy tickets for the much-acclaimed smash hit musical The King And I when it comes to Birmingham this year as part of a UK tour.

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe star in The King And I

Following its critically-acclaimed Broadway run and its sold out, record breaking season at the London Palladium, the multi-Tony Award-winning production is touring for most of the year and arrives at Alexandra Theatre from December 10 until January 4, 2020.

The West End critics heaped praise on The King And I, and acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam, played by Hollywood star Ken Watanabe, and Anna Leonowens (Kelli O'Hara), a British schoolteacher. The modernist king in an imperialistic world brings Anna to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

With one of the finest scores ever written – including Whistle A Happy Tune, Getting To Know You and Shall We Dance – and featuring a company of more than 50 world-class performers and full scale orchestra, The King And I is 'a testament to the heritage of romantic musical theatre', a spokesperson said.

The tour comes hot off the heels of the live cinema screenings of The King And I: From The London Palladium, which became the biggest live event in cinemas of 2018 in November.

The film reached the top spot in the UK film charts when it aired, with more than double the box office takings of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which came out at the same time, showing the demand for a UK theatre tour.

Producer Howard Panter says: “The response from London audiences to this multi-award-winning production was unprecedented. Critical plaudits, box office records and standing ovations at every show – we were overwhelmed with the rapturous response.

"Coupled with the reaction to the global cinema screenings of the film version, this really is musical theatre at its very best. So we are thrilled that we can now share this wonderous production with theatre lovers up and down the country next year.”

To book tickets for the Alexandra Theatre run, visit the theatre's website.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at

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