Dawn Welch as Anna and Jordan Adams as The King

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A well-known theatrical adage is ‘never work with children or animals’, but a group of actors in Lichfield are delighted to be working with youngsters – 35 of them to be exact. The youngsters aged between four and 15 are an important part of the cast of The King and I.
Nathan de Giorgio as Prince Chulalongkorn with Dawn Welch as Anna and some of the King’s children
For their production of this popular musical, Lichfield Operatic Society is further forging its links with Theatrics Stage School and Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre. Other children in the show have worked with the society on recent productions and others are family of the cast. Show director Julie Mallaband is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast, which includes the children from Lichfield and surrounding areas. She has fond memories of playing Anna when her own children were in the show 12 years ago and knows how lovely it can be to share such a wonderful hobby together. A talented young Lichfield brother and sister are two of the children appearing in the show. Eleven-year-old Lewis McLaren will play Louis Leonowens, Anna’s son and his sister Kirsten has been cast as Princess Ying Yaowlak. Both are heavily involved in Theatrics Stage School and this is the first time they have been cast in the same show. Kirsten, aged eight, has been attending Theatrics since she was five and has been desperate to join her brother on the stage ever since. Lewis had one of the leading child roles in the Operatic Society’s production of the acclaimed Whistle Down and Wind. Just two weeks before the show he will appear in the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre’s production of Grease. Their granny, Irene Woods, who lives in Australia, managed to come over to see Lewis in Whistle Down the Wind, but can’t attend this time. She said: “I wish I wasn’t 9,066 miles from Lichfield. Good luck to my two amazing grandchildren. I love and miss them so much. Enjoy the performances everyone.” The show next month at the Lichfield Garrick features Dawn Welch as Anna and Jordan Adams as the King. Both are thrilled to be portraying these iconic roles made famous by Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. This local society never fails to please its audiences and The King and I follows on from Fiddler on the Roof which received 5-star reviews. This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical boasts so many well known songs, including Getting to Know You, Whistle a Happy Tune and Shall We Dance? The show runs from April 21 to 25 at the Lichfield Garrick and tickets are £17 and £18 for the evening performances. There is a matinee performance on Saturday with tickets at £15 for adults and £10 for children. Tickets are selling well and are available from the box office on 01543 412121 or via the website at www.lichfieldgarricktheatre.com.

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