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Dean John-Wilson added to The King And I at the London Palladium

Tuesday, 20th Mar 2018  

The King and I - London Palladium

Whilst there are various news shows opening in 2018, including new jukebox musicals about Tina Turner and Take That, one of the most anticipated productions heading to the capital is the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Not only will the production mark the return of a musical that is celebrated around the world, it also sees Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara step onto the stage of the London Palladium, providing some familiar faces for theatregoers in the West End.

Now, however, we know who else is going to be joining them when the show opens in June, with Dean John-Wilson stepping into the role of Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon stepping into the role of his lover Tuptim.

Watanabe and O’Hara played the lead parts of The King And I on the other side of the Atlantic and return for the West End version. As such they will play the eponymous king and Anna respectively, the latter being a British schoolteacher brought to Siam to help to modernise. The show depicts their relationship – a tumultuous one that masks a secret admiration.

Along the way audiences also experiences musical numbers from Richard Rodgers that include Getting To Know You, I Whistle A Happy Tune and We Kiss In A Shadow, amongst others.

Amongst this we also meet the characters of Lun Tha, a scholar, and Tuptim, a slave girl who is brought from Burma as a new wife for the king, who are secret lovers.

Luna Tha will be played by Dean John-Wilson and audiences will instantly recognise him as the original Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre, though he also has other credits such as Miss Atomic Bomb at the St James’ Theatre (now The Other Palace), Songs For The New World, also at the St James’ Theatre, Sister Act on a UK tour, Here Lies Love at the National Theatre and From Here To Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre, amongst others. He has also made appearances in one-off shows at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.

The King And I runs at the London Palladium from Tuesday 3rd July 2018 (previews from Thursday 21st June 2018) and, thanks to a new extension, is now booking there for performances up to Saturday 29th September 2018.

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Musicals |