Family time for the King and I

FELIXSTOWE'S award-winning Stage Door theatre group is one big happy family – on and off stage!For in the company's latest production The King and I there will be plenty of real-life relationships on stage as the actors and actresses perform their roles.

By Richard Cornwell

FELIXSTOWE'S award-winning Stage Door theatre group is one big happy family – on and off stage!

For in the company's latest production The King and I there will be plenty of real-life relationships on stage as the actors and actresses perform their roles.

Chris Sparrow who plays the King is joined by his daughter Kayleigh, who will play the part of a royal child, while royal wife Jane Welton is joined by her daughter Nikki, also a royal child.

Ian Lord, who takes the role as Lun Tha, is joined by his son Frazer, also a royal child, and there are also brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles appearing.

The cast – which ranges in age from four to 70 – is very excited about the show, which will open at the Spa Pavilion on October 30 for a four-night run, because the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical has been enjoying a revival.

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It is currrently on a national tour with singing star Marti Webb and Ronobir Lahiri in the lead roles.

Stage Door artistic director Anita Lord said: "Before the rights holders gave us permission to perform this show they consulted the people behind the London show and the national tour.

"The wait seemed forever. Naturally we are delighted to get permission to perform this show and to perform it locally in Suffolk."

The King and I, based on Margaret Landon's novel, Anna and the King of Siam, has captivated millions over five decades with its story of Anna Leonowens, brought to the court of King Mongkut as tutor to his 67 children.

It is a story of love and joy set to one of the most unforgettable scores ever written, including Shall we Dance? I Whistle a Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers, and Getting to Know You.

Anna, an adventurous Englishwoman hired to serve as governess and tutor to King's children, has many quarrels with the dictator, but the two eventually fall in love, and her influence on the king helps to bring democracy to the country.

Playing opposite Chris Sparrow, the King, will be Catherine Jermy as Anna. Tuptim is played by Louise Sandham. Many of the Stage door juniors will be enjoying their very first experience of life on stage.

This show runs from October 30 to November 2, nightly at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8.50 for adults (concessions available) and children £5, and there is a two for one offer on the first night. Tickets available from the box office on 01394 282126.

WEBLINK: www.stagedoorfelixstowe.co.uk

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