First Look: Darren Lee, Helen George, Dean John-Wilson, Marienella Phillips, Cezarah Bonner, Kok-Hwa Lie, Caleb Lagayan and More in the THE KING AND I UK and Ireland Tour

Darren Lee in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

The Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I currently on a major UK and Ireland Tour stars Broadway star and film actor Darren Lee (Hackers/Sisters/Chicago/Guys and Dolls) in the title role of The King of Siam opposite Helen George, known to millions for the past decade as Trixie in the hit BBC One series “Call The Midwife,” as Anna Leonowens. Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific/My Fair Lady/ To Kill a Mockingbird) directs.

All production photos by Johan Persson

Helen George and Darren Lee in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

The cast also features Dean John-Wilson (London Palladium prodction of The King and I/Aladdin) as Lun Tha, Marienella Phillips (Henry V/Carmen) as Tuptim,  Cezarah Bonner as Lady Thiang, the King’s head wife, Kok-Hwa Lie (2020 UK Tour of The King And I/ Rent) as Kralahome, Caleb Lagayan (Les Misérables) as Prince Chulalongkorn, Sam Jenkins-Shaw (The Night Watch/Jane Eyre) as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsay and Maria Coyne (Phantom of the Opera/Wicked) is the Alternate Anna.

Helen George and and the Company in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

The ensemble includes Chi Chan, Jeffrey Chekai, Emily Grace-Ling, Cher Nicolette Ho, Rachel Wang-Hei Lau, Daniel Len, Candy Ma, Rachel MacDougall, Amelia Kinu Muus, Yuki Ozeki, Kitt Pakapom, Prem Rai, Ria Tanaka, Hiromi Toyooka, Jasmine Triadi, Jensen Tudtud, Qinwen Xue and Jason Yang-Westland. Harry Altoft, Dexter Barry, Max Ivemey and Charlie McGuire play Louis, Anna’s son. Bethany Campbell, Coco Bridger, Cody Concha, Ethan Fung, Dulcie-Bella Hackley, Caitlin Lau, Khun Cho Lwin, Angelica Quynh An Nguyen, Tenzin Noryang, Sabri Leonel Puci, Niall Rina, Francis Benedict Sarte, Mia Snowdon, Yuen Zhai and Phoebe Zhao-Welsh play the Royal children.

Cezarah Bonner as Lady Thiang and the company in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

Following a critically acclaimed Broadway smash-hit run, a sold-out season at the London Palladium (which resulted in the biggest global live event cinema release of 2018) and a previous record-breaking UK and International tour, this multi-Tony Award-winning production returns to venues all over the country next year – visiting Canterbury, Wimbledon, Liverpool, Birmingham, Llandudno, High Wycombe, Bristol, Dartford, Bradford, Southend, Cardiff, Hull, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Stoke-On-Trent, Southampton, Belfast and Dublin. Further UK cities and details of a major international tour will be announced soon.

Marienella Phillips as Tuptim and Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

The critical acclaim for Bartlett Sher’s production has been phenomenal. When the show opened at the London Palladium in 2018, West End critics heaped praise on the show: the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit”. Daily Express hailed it “London’s theatrical event of 2018” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.

THE KING AND I features music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, choreography by Christopher Gatelli based on Jerome Robbins, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, and lighting by Donald Holder.

The Small House of Uncle Thomas Ballet in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

THE KING AND I is a sumptuous, timeless romance from the golden age of musicals, adored by the public and critics alike – and boasting one of the finest scores ever written, including Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You, and Shall We Dance.

The Small House of Uncle Thomas Ballet in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

Set in 1860s Bangkok, THE KING AND I tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Darren Lee in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson
Max Ivemey as Louis and Sam Jenkins-Shaw as Captain in THE KING AND I. Credit: Johan Persson

Feb. 21 – 25 Liverpool Empire Theatre
Feb. 28 Feb – Mar. 4 Birmingham Alexandra Theatre
Mar. 7 – 11 Llandudno Venue Cymru
Mar. 14 – 18     High Wycombe Swan Theatre
Mar. 28 March – Apr. 1 Bristol Hippodrome
Apr. 4 – 8             Dartford Orchard Theatre
Apr. 11 – 15         Bradford Alhambra Theatre
Apr. 18 – 22        Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Apr. 25 – 29           Cardiff New Theatre
May 2 – 6 Hull New Theatre
May 9 – 13 Manchester Opera House
May 16 – 20            Glasgow Kings Theatre
May 23 – 27 Newcastle Theatre Royal
May 30 – Jun. 3 Stoke-On-Trent Regent Theatre
Jun. 13 – 17 Southampton Mayflower
Jun. 20 – 24 Belfast Grand Opera House
Jun. 27 – Jul. 1       Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

*Helen George will perform on Wednesday – Saturday performances, at venues up to and including Cardiff New Theatre


Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist, documentarian and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2023 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s