Leading the cast as the King is Douglas Smith from Grey High, with Nicole Johnson from Collegiate High as Anna Leonowens, who, in a show based on a real life story, travelled to the court of Siam to become teacher to the monarch’s many children.
They are joined by two other Collegiate and Grey high pupils Amy Annear, Junior Showtime Award-nominated as the ‘Princess in the Pemads’ pantomime, ‘Jack the Beanstalk’ late last year, and Devin Stickells, in the principal romantic lead roles of ‘Tuptim and Lun Tha’.
Collegiate’s Danielle Carr plays the pivotal role of the king’s number one wife, Lady Thiang, Seve Chadford as the disapproving Siamese politician, The Kralahome, while Shawn Sankey, a 2012 Showtime Junior Award-winner for best supporting actor in a musical for ‘Hit the Headlines!’, will portray the visiting English aristocrat, Sir Edward Ramsey.
Jason Herrington plays the eldest of the king’s offspring, Prince Chululongkorn, with James van der Merwe, also Junior Showtime Award-nominated last year in the PE Gilbert and Sullivan production of Ian von Memerty’s ‘Fiela’s Child’, will play Louis Leonowens, Anna’s young son.
The featured dancers in the ‘Small House of Uncle Thomas’ Ballet will be Robynne Williams as Eliza and Andrew Hyde as King Simon of Legree.
The four schools together boast a powerhouse of production talent, many of whom have been involved in senior PE theatre to a marked degree in recent years.
Director Simon Stickells, from Collegiate Junior, has been award-nominated for on-stage appearances in ‘My Fair Lady’ (as Freddy Eynsford-Hill) and as the main guest star in the 2011 Showtime musical, Hit the Headlines! He also musically directed the 2008 Showtime revue, ‘Simply Shobiz’, and directed and musically directed the much-lauded 2010 Collegiate Junior staging of Seussical the Musical (it won ten Showtime Awards, including Primary School Show of the Year).
Musical director Shawn Lyon, who is head of music at Grey High, comes straight off a 2012 Showtime Best Contribution to Theatre Music Award win for his masterly musical direction of the GS revival of ‘Oklahoma!’ and his enviable track record includes a number of other awards wins for local presentations of major Broadway and West End presentations.
Young up and coming choreographer Siobhan Day sprang to attention with her staging of the numbers in Seussical the Musical, which saw her honoured with recognition for Best Contribution to Theatre Dance and Best Show Routine for her work on that production.
Because of the plethora of talent available at both staff and learner levels at these four schools, it means that, for the first time in many years, audiences can experience a score that includes such Great White Way standards as ‘Getting to Know You’, ‘Shall We Dance’, ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’, ‘A Puzzlement’, ‘Hello Young Lovers’, ‘I Have Dreamed’ and the ‘March of the Siamese Children’, played by an accompanying orchestra that, for the first time in many, many years in the PE Opera House pit, will include a full strings section.
The vocal direction has been headed up by Collegiate High’s Ann Yates, who first undertook this function in 2008 with the school’s production of ‘South Pacific’, and whose soaring soprano voice has also been heard to excellent advantage in many PE stage musicals, including various Showtime and GS revues and full-scale musicals such as ‘Fiddler On the Roof’, as Tevye’s eldest daughter.
The huge task of costuming the cast is being co-ordinated by Roelien Taylor, who has worked on several other productions in past years, the most recent being the Show of the Year-winning Disney’s ‘Beauty the Beast’ this immediate past December / January.
The show will be staged at the Port Elizabeth Opera House with a six-performance season from Tuesday, 13 to Saturday, 17 March all shows are at 19:00, with a Saturday matinee at 14:00.
Tickets are already on sale at Collegiate Junior Secretaries’ Office during school hours.
The King and I, presented by the Collegiate and Grey High and Junior Schools, directed by Simon Stickells, musically directed by Shawn Lyon, choreography by Siobhan Day, vocal direction by Ann Yates, at the Port Elizabeth Opera House, Tuesday, 13 to Saturday, 17 March at 19:00, with a matinee on Saturday at 14:00. Admission is R80. Book at Collegiate Junior School, during school hours.
Article source: http://mediaupdate.co.za/?IDStory=45373