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Japanese film and TV star Takao Osawa joins cast of The King and I

Casting news

TAKAO Osawa, the multi-award-winning actor and star of one of Japan’s most popular television series JIN, will play the Kralahome, trusted adviser to The King of Siam, in The King and I, which runs at the London Palladium from June 21 to September 29, 2018.

Osawa, whose hugely popular character in JIN (Jin Minakata) has been likened by many in Japan to the BBC’s legendary time-travelling Doctor Who, will join a cast led by Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King, Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim.

Takao Osawa swept up a total of seven awards as Best Actor for JIN, which was first broadcast in 2009, with a second series airing in 2011. Osawa was also the recipient of the Nikkan Sports Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on Metro ni notte as Sakichi Konuma. Films include the multi award-winning Wolf Children in which he played the Wolf Man. It was the second-highest grossing film in Japan on its debut weekend beating Pixar’s animation Brave, which debuted in Japan on the same weekend.

Osawa’s other notable roles include Toma Fujihira in Ichi and Saizo Kirigakure in the Asian Film Award nominated Goemon. He also appeared in A Terminal Trust directed by Masayuki Suo. His most recent film and TV appearances include The Lion Standing in the Wind as Koichiro Shimada and Inosuke Odamura in the Japanese series Hana Moyu.

Also joining the London cast are Jon Chew (Angels in America) in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn, Edward Baker-Duly (The Wizard Of Oz, South Pacific) in dual roles as Sir Edward Ramsay and Captain Orton alongside Annalene Beechey (Les Miserables, Into The Woods).

The full ensemble cast of singers, actors and dancers will feature Kamm Kunaree, Jacqui Sanchez, Miiya Alexandra, Ena Yamaguchi, Ela Lisondra, Aiko Kato, Lily Wang, Yuki Abe, Saori Oda, Misa Koide, William Mychael Lee, Alistair So, Arthur Lee, Jorge Sprangers, Jonathan Caguioa, Cletus Chan, Jesse Milligan, Nick Len, Steven Hardcastle, Nicholas Li, Rachel Jayne Picar and Jasmine Leung.

Due to high demand The King and I also announced that an extra Tuesday performance has been added to the London Palladium season in the final week on September 25. This is in addition to the five extra Thursday matinees previously announced (August 30, September 6, 13, 20 and 27).

Much like it’s acclaimed 16 month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and record-breaking sold out USA tour, The King and I is tipped to be London’s must-see musical of 2018.

With music by Richard Rodgers, and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, The King and I boasts a score featuring much loved classics such as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed and Something Wonderful. Set in 1860s Bangkok, it tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.