The King and I - Li'l Abner
The King & I
The difference in attitudes towards love & between East & West is highlighted in this dramatic story set in Bangkok in the early 1860’s.
The widowed Anna Leonowens, arriving to take up her post as governess to the King’s 67 children, finds she also has to teach some of his wives & concubines! Anna helps the King’s young concubine, Tuptim, to meet her love, the servant Lun Tha, in secret, remembering her own love for her husband. The mercurial King offends Anna & she decides to leave the Palace but is dissuaded by Lady Thiang, the King’s head wife.
During a banquet given for the visiting British Diplomat, Sir Edward Ramsey, Tuptim & Lun Tha elope. To Anna’s horror, their flight is discovered by the secret police & both are executed. Once again Anna decides to leave, but when the King becomes ill a strange affection she has developed for him persuades her to stay & help the crown prince in the difficult task of becoming the new ruler.
The Production Team
Director – Frank O’Brien
Choreographer – Michelle Millgate
Musical Director – Ian Trippett
Rehearsal Pianist – Lyn McPherson
Kerry Dowling (The King), Michele Jericevich (Anna), Julia Kim (Tuptim), John McCann (Lun Tah), Helen Fawcett (Lady Thiang), Jay Finocchiaro (Prince Chululongkorn), Anthony Chester & Benjamin Greenwood (Louis), Fred Jones (Kralahome), Jim Simmons (Captain Orton), Robert Lashmore (Sir Edward Ramsey), Rachel Alford, Kristy Best, Robyn Goldman, Angela Kennedy, Shelley Kennedy, Anne Kitto, Amanda Marley, Karen Musson, Pat Rafter, Jonathan Barons, Ken Bond, Mario Calderone, Chris Johnson, Keith Macbeth, Brian Watkins, Lara Jane Busse, Phillip Cattell, Elaine Clarke, Simona Dimillo, Alix Duncan, Ashleigh Greenwood, Matthew Greenwood, Amelia Hodge, Prue Hodge, Anna Jaques, Rebecca Wickham, David Jaques, Amelia Barrett, Peita Cummings, Sophie Dowling, Kate Fitzgerald, Kristyn Gainer, Lyndall Gainer, Merridy Gainer, Laura Hunt, Kevin Nixon, Ashley Rossouw, Asha Walsh.
Lil’ Abner is Dogpatch U.S.A come to life on the stage. It characterises virtually all it’s most important comic-strip figures & probably it’s major theme, Daisy Mae’s efforts to get Lil’ Abner to marry her. Along the way, Dogpatch is proclaimed the most unnecessary town in the country & proposed as a site for nuclear tests. In an effort to save their town the Dogpatchers endeavour to find something there which is necessary. Mammy Yokum comes to the rescue with her secret Yokum-berry tonic which makes musclemen out of weaklings. It saves the town but involves the Dogpatchers in a Washington fiasco when Abner wants to give the rights to the tonic to the Government.
In an attempt to grab the rights to the priceless tonic for himself, General Bullmoose devises a plan to enter his “protégé”, Appassionata Von Climax, in the annual Sadie Hawkins Day Race. To ensure that she will catch Lil’ Abner for her husband & give her joint ownership to the tonic, Bullmoose avails himself of the services of the dastardly Evil Eye Fleagle. These plans are eventually foiled by the upstanding citizens of Dogpatch.
Daisy Mae now realises her dreams as Abner claims her as his bride with Marryin’ Sam being on hand to perform the joyous nuptials – but only after due homage is paid to Dogpatch’s only other hero – Jubilation T Cornpone.
The Production Team
Director/ Choreographer – Paul Wright
Musical Director – Kate Palethorpe
Assistant Director – Greg Wood
Rehearsal Pianist – Helen Short
Stuart Miles (Abner Yokum), Shelley Kennedy (Daisy Mae), John McCann (Marryin’ Sam), Jim Simmons (Pappy Yokum), Sharyn Clampett (Mammy Yokum), Brian Watkins (General Bullmoose), Patricia Rafter (Dr. Finsdale), Kerry McMillian (Available Jones), Jonathan Barons (Earthquake McGoon), Ken Bond (Senator Jack S Phogbound), Nicky Brown (Appassionata Von Climax), Michael Hann (Evil Eye Fleagle), Robyn Goldman (Cecily Softwicke), Anne Kitto (Moonbeam McSwine), Betty Tougher (Mayor Delilah Dawgmeat), Janelle West, Kerrie Lawton, Anne Kay, Sue Harrington-Sweeney, Helen Evans, Julie LeClerc, Libby Warren, Bev Gowenlock, Sally Crocker, Fiona Jones, Karen Musson, Amanda Marley, Garry Maloney, Mario Calderone, Scott Evans, Keith Macbeth, Brendan Van Eyk, Phillip Cattell