Broadway The King And I revival comes to London

Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara, who will be starring in the Broadway revival of the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King And I.
Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara, who will be starring in the Broadway revival of the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King And I.PHOTO: TWITTER/THE KING AND I

LONDON (REUTERS) - A Broadway revival of the 1951 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King And I comes to a London stage this summer with Japanese actor Ken Watanabe and Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara reprising their roles from the New York production.

A 2015 adaptation of the musical, which tells the story of British school teacher Anna arriving in 1860s Bangkok to tutor the children of the King of Siam, had a successful run on the American stage, winning praise from critics and four Tony Awards.

Under director Bartlett Sher, it now heads to the London Palladium for a limited run, with O'Hara as Anna and Inception and The Last Samurai actor Watanabe reprising the part of the king.

"It's like putting on an old glove, a really beautiful one,"O'Hara told Reuters in an interview about reprising the role.

"I don't think that we assume that because it was a success on Broadway it will be a huge success on the West End, but I do feel like we have the security of having built something that we are proud of."

The original Broadway show by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II won Russian-born actor Yul Brynner a Tony Award for his portrayal of King Mongkut. He later picked up an Oscar for the 1956 film version.

Asked if they would like to star in a film remake of the musical, Watanabe said: "Hopefully, yes."

O'Hara said: "Yes, yes, absolutely. It's due for a revival of a movie I think. Yes, why not?"