Photo: Honiara resident, Brendan Nerdal, chatting to Lisa McCune at the opening performance.
If you’re heading to Brisbane for a mini break, or just having a stop over then I recommend getting yourself to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) to see The King and I.
The musical stars Lisa McCune as Anna Leonowens, the British school teacher who is employed to educate the children and wives of the King of Siam, played by Teddy Tahu Rhodes. The production is a feast for the eyes, with highly decorated sets of red, gold and glitter. The costumes are vibrant, and the elegant, old-world dresses worn by Lisa McCune are breathtakingly beautiful. While Teddy Tahu Rhodes is best known as an opera singer rather than an actor, he plays a strong king, keen to learn the ways of the west. He has clear on-stage chemistry with McCune, who herself trained in musical theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
There is an extremely talented supporting cast in the roles of Lady Thiang, Tuptim and Lun Tha. They are, in fact, so talented that they nearly eclipse the show’s stars with their mesmerising voices. Without a doubt, the highlight of the production is the performance, narrated by Tuptim, of The Small House of Uncle Thomas, which she uses to communicate her unhappiness to the King. The skit, found in the second half, has the actors jumping, running and gesturing with their hands in an electrifying fashion.
Tickets range from $69.90 to $159.90 AUD and the show runs in Brisbane until June 1. After closing in Queensland, the production will be in Melbourne from June 10 to August 17 and then Sydney from September 9 to November 1. Visit http://www.thekingandimusical.com.au for more information, including a selection of educational resources.