set to stage lavish musical
Anna and the
King: A clash of cultures
The King of Siam, a time-honoured classic that has captivated
millions with its delightful story of Anna Leonowens, brought to
the court of Siam as tutor to the king's children will be
presented by the Asian International School (AIS) on May 9 and 10.
Based on the
musical, The King and I by Rogers and Hammerstein, it is a true
story set in 19th century Thailand. Soon after British governess
Anna arrives in this exotic land, she finds herself engaged in a
battle of wits with its strong-willed ruler, King Mongkut. Interpretations
of this musical have been portrayed in various theatrical productions.
The AIS' eclectic
version of this favourite musical is a creative combination of narrative,
drama, song and dance by a 120-member cast from the lower and middle
schools. Directed by Samantha Abeyweera de Soysa and Indu Dharmasena,
the script has been adapted to suit the large number of participants
and the stage.
this story very popular is the contrast between two cultures - Anna,
a woman from the Victorian era who is ignorant of local customs
and arrogant about her civilisation and the oriental culture of
the King of Siam. Much effort has been taken to portray
this effectively on stage, also to bring to life the Siam of that
a charming story line that is well known. The colour, tradition
and pageantry are something that Asian audiences can relate to,"
says Director Samantha.
student, Saidomar Macasiling, fits the role of King Mongkut, while
Saveeta de Alwis plays Anna and Tanya Rajendra, Lady Thiang, the
head wife of the King.
the cast are Tuptim (Savita Brito-Mutunayagam) who has been gifted
to the King by Burma and her lover Luntha (Ayaska Fernando), both
talented singers who have taken part in previous school productions.
of the play, Sharon Rajendra says that the main characters and all
the others - wives, children, dancers, courtiers, etc. - are experiencing
a full-length theatrical production for the first time.
importantly, they have enjoyed themselves," adds Producer of
the play and Head of Juniors, Dushy Parakrama.
The sets are
lavish with elegant pillars for the palace and sensational costumes
made from vibrant and rich silk and satin, making the production
and unforgettable scores from the original including Shall We Dance,
I Whistle A Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers and Getting To Know You
are part of the play. Accompaniment is provided by Soundari David
on piano and Christopher Prins on the drums. Yoshita Abeysekera
has choreographed the dances.
The play will
be staged at the Bishop's College auditorium on May 9 and 10 at
7 p.m. Tickets are available at the school office.