Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I is a classic musical, and one that has been performed worldwide since its debut in 1951. The show performed at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre was given a new lease of life and delivering a professionally polished production that would be sure to make the theatre's patron, Elaine Paige (a former Mrs Anna herself), incredibly proud.
The leads deserve a special mention. Both superbly cast and absorbed by their roles they prove themselves performers of high calibre who would not be out of place on a West End stage. Jordan Adams successfully portrays the King of Siam, brutal but likeable, with a charming self-righteousness. Dawn Welch takes on the independent and dignified Mrs Anna, bringing warmth and perfect poise to the role. The King and Mrs Anna's connection is playful and endearing, both proud and each intrigued by the other, there is a genuine spark to their relationship. All tensions are released during Shall We Dance, full of energy it serves as the high-point of the show before Mrs Anna exposes the King's conscience, wounding his pride.
This Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is guaranteed to attract audiences to the theatre and this production was no exception. I am certain that everyone who saw it went away whistling a ‘happy tune’. The pairing of Dawn Welch and as Anna Leonowens and Jordan Adams as The King of Siam worked really well. Dawn showed us the softer side of Anna when dealing with others but contrasted this well with feistiness when there was an injustice. Jordan’s stage presence made sure that we realised that here was a man not to be crossed until finally his spirit was broken.
Birmingham Evening Mail
All performances of this Rodgers & Hammerstein classic where sold out, and it’s easy to see why there is such a demand for tickets.From the opening scenes to the tear-jerking finale. Dawn Welch plays widowed English teacher Anna Leonowens who arrives in Siam to take charge of the King’s many children and has a few culture clashes with the ruler who is considered a barbarian by leaders in the West. She sings and acts impressively, while Jordan Adams excels as the stubborn King, his poise, arrogance and those stabbing fingers a reminder of how Yul Brynner performed in the famous film.