The multi award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I returns to Southampton next month, following its critically-acclaimed sold out season at The London Palladium.

Starring the West End’s Annalene Beechey and Broadway star Darren Lee, The King and I boasts one of the finest scores ever written including Whistle a Happy Tune and Shall We Dance.

This gloriously lavish production is brought to the stage by an internationally renowned creative team under Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific / My Fair Lady / To Kill a Mockingbird) and will feature a world-class company of over 50 West End and Broadway performers and a full-scale orchestra.

Daily Echo: A scene from The King and I

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Annalene talked to the Daily Echo ahead of her Mayflower stint as Anna. 

She said: "Anna has a wonderful journey throughout this show, she’s tough, feisty, funny, warm and believes so passionately in the power of knowledge. She also has the most beautiful songs - vocally and lyrically.

"I was, and still am, very honoured to play this role. It’s a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical and Bartlett Sher’s Tony Award winning production is simply beautiful. I was also maybe a little worried about dancing the polka in that huge skirt!

"It’s an enormous role, requiring physical, vocal, and emotional strength. The dialogue is fast paced with lovely long scenes to get your teeth into, so I’m revising like crazy. But mainly I’m building up my stamina. I run and I do yoga regularly. You need a strong core for the corset and large skirts.

"The ballet is extraordinary. The first time I saw the cast perform it in the rehearsal room, I cried. It took my breath away. And still does. It’s a privilege to watch our incredible dancers perform this up close. Out of the songs I sing, I love performing Hello Young Lovers."


The King and I is at Mayflower Theatre from June 13 to 17.

Tickets are available from