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The King and I - new casting and final booking period extension announced

Casting news

FURTHER casting has been announced for the West End transfer of the Tony Award-winning and critically acclaimed Broadway production of The King and I, which opens at the London Palladium on July 3, 2018, following preview performances from June 21.

Dean John-Wilson, who starred in the title role of Disney’s original West End production of Aladdin, and Na-Young Jeon, Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End and Gigi in Miss Saigon on world tour, will play the young lovers, Lun Tha and Tuptim.

They will join Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King and Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang.

It has also been announced that the London Palladium engagement will extend for a final three weeks until Saturday, September 29, 2018. This is the very last opportunity West End audiences will have to see the Broadway stars reprise their original roles on the London stage, as Kelli O’Hara will return to Broadway to star in Kiss Me Kate and Ken Watanabe has filming commitments.

Five extra matinees on Thursdays (August 30 and September 6, 13, 20 and 27) have been added to the London Palladium performance schedule. This follows continued unprecedented demand for tickets, with early performances already sold out. 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.

Dean John-Wilson played the title role in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre and was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008. His other theatre credits include: Miss Atomic Bomb and Songs For a New World (St James’ Theatre), Aquino in Here Lies Love (National Theatre), Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre) and Sister Act: The Musical (UK Tour).

Netherlands born Na-Young Jeon played Gigi in the international tour of Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Misérables in South Korea and in the West End. Her other theatre work includes Esmerelda in Notre Dame de Paris in South Korea and Bianca in Kiss Me Kate in Amsterdam. She has also appeared on screen in Conny and Clyde and Van Hier Tot Tokio (TV); The Calling and Hitomi (film).

With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this masterpiece – one of their finest works – boasts a score featuring such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical 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.

Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher directs.

Read more about The King and I.