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The King and I - Presented by Rockdale Musical Society

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by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Poet, Podcaster & Photographer with travel agent, airline, cruise ship, flight attendant, tour guide, and teaching airfares background. Read my travel articles and book cheap flights >> www.jadejackson.com.au/cheap-flights-to-china/
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Something wonderful has come to Rockdale
The King and I, Rockdale Musical Society, Stephen Halstead, Charmaine Gibbs, Rockdale Town Hall, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Musical
Scene from The King & I. Image by Chloe Snaith.


For an unassuming venue like Rockdale Town Hall with its red brick facade, this latest production of Rodger & Hammerstein's 'The King and I' is a Broadway-worthy performance. The show has been put together by the Rockdale Musical Society, directed by Cathy Boyle and choreographed by Keely Soulsby.

The King & I, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale Town Hall, Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Musical
The Palace in The King and I. Image by Chloe Snaith.


From the opening gong, it's clear that this rendition is no small-scale performance. The 17 piece orchestra transports us to 1860's Siam with its opening overture. The set pieces are simple but easily give a sense of place.

In past musicals I've seen there has often been one clear star of the show, but with 'The King and I', the high calibre casting means there are stand-out performances in every scene.

Scene from the King & I. Image supplied.
Scene from the King & I. Image by Chloe Snaith.


The King and I is an intriguing story of cultural differences. Widowed English schoolteacher Anna, takes a job teaching the many offspring (77 children born from 11 wives) of the King of Siam. The King is seen by the West as a barbarian and it becomes Anna's role to advise him on best practice to appear otherwise. It is their unusual relationship full of conflict that ultimately leads to the personal growth of the King and positive change for the people of Siam.

Overall it's a lighthearted story and the King's overuse of his newfound phrase 'etcetera' never stopped being funny throughout.

The King and I, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale Town Hall, Musical
The King and I. Image by Chloe Snaith.


The opening song "I Whistle a Happy Tune" wowed the audience but it was TupTim's powerful operatic solo "My Lord & Master" that gave rise to goosebumps and thunderous applause.

All the musical numbers were reproduced with love and care, keeping close to the original. Crowd favourites included "A Puzzlement", "Getting to Know You", "Something Wonderful" and "Shall We Dance".

The King and I, Rockdale Musical Society, Musical, Rockdale Town Hall, Musical
Scene from The King and I. Image by Chloe Snaith.


The palace scenes used a combination of digital print and Buddha statues on stage that gave a realistic 3D effect of the King's Royal Palace in Bangkok.

The costumes (over two hundred, according to the program) were full of all the glitz, gold and glitter befitting a royal wardrobe with the King seemingly changing costume every scene. The children really lit up the stage with their bright and colourful sarongs and the smallest children commanded the stage with their cute and adorable antics.

The King & I, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale Town Hall, Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein
Scene from The King and I at Rockdale Town Hall. Image by Chloe Snaith.


Key casting includes:
The King - Stephen Halstead
Anna Leonowens - Charmaine Gibbs
Lady Thiang - Tisha Kelemen
Louis - Max Fernandez
TupTim - Natalie Rose Cassaniti
Directed by Cathy Boyle
Musical Director Ian Buchanan
Choreography by Kelly Soulsby

The King and I, Key casting, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale Town Hall, Musical
Key cast of The King and I showing at Rockdale Town Hall.


The theatre had stadium style seating so it was easy to see the stage. The sound was excellent and loud enough to hear without being overbearing. The orchestra really made the theatre come alive.

Full cast of The King and I, Musical, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale Town Hall
Full cast of The King and I.


Useful Information
Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office and seating is pre-allocated. Evening show starts at 8pm sharp, intermission is from 9:30pm-10pm and the show finishes at 11pm.

There is a bar selling beer & wine from $6 and soft drinks from $3 with snacks like chocolate and chips from $2. Programs are available for $7.

On-street parking is free (clearway until 7pm) but is limited. Rockdale train station is approximately a 5 minute walk.

Musical notes, The King and I, orchestra, Rockdale Musical Society, Rockdale town Hall
Music from The King and I.


Opening night, the king and I, musical, Rockdale musical society, Rockdale town hall
Opening night of The King and I at Rockdale Town Hall.
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*Jade Jackson was invited as a guest
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Why? Excellent rendition of the classic musical 'The King and I'.
When: Fri 3rd March - Sun 12th March 2017, Various times
Phone: 0423566393 (Between 3pm-8pm)
Where: Rockdale Town Hall 448 Princes Highway, Rockdale, NSW 2216
Cost: Adults $40, Concession $34, Child(U12) $30, Family(2A 2C)$110, Group(8 people)$34 per person
Your Comment
Looks like a good show to watch. Nice work on the article
by RC (score: 3|1221) 956 days ago
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