Tuesday, April 16, 2024

King needs new wives and sixty eight children

IT might be considered excessive, but in the late 1800’s the King of Siam was well within his rights to have twenty eight wives and as a result, sixty eight children. He was, however, a forward thinking man and knew that he needed to educate his large family so engaged the services of an English school teacher to do just that. From the real life situation came the inspiration for the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical THE KING AND I.

Local Theatre Company TOPS have adopted a youth development policy which earlier this year saw them producing the hit musical OLIVER! at the Thameside Theatre. Selling to capacity audiences the society broke their own box office records and featured over 70 local people in the production. More so, with the 40 children who became enthralled in the show and crying out for more, TOPS are delighted to have been granted licence to perform THE KING AND I for their next show at the Thameside Theatre.

The group’s open audition process means that anyone can get involved; the society does not limit themselves to regular members. TOPS are now looking for new cast members for the show. From children to Adults, it’s a tall order to find 28 wives and 68 children ranging in age along with men who don’t mind filling the role of slaves.

“This wonderfully moving and colourful musical is a gem in the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue, full of opulence and sentiment and to make it work the children need to come in all shapes, sizes and age” explains show director Ann Sullivan. “We need young ladies to play the Kings wives, older ladies to play their matrons, men sporting six packs would be wonderful and dancers to take on the iconic Ballet and the story telling of “Uncle Thomas Small Cabin”, a musical theatre masterpiece”.

This is a great opportunity for people wanting to have a go at musical theatre; ideal for youngsters wanting to get on stage. Because TOPS cast the entire show from scratch it literally is open to all. Getting involved is simple with a full information pack available from the group’s website www.topsonstage.co.uk If you can’t access the internet then you can call the group on (01375) 371722. The first round of auditions take place on Sunday 16th September.

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