Japanese Film And TV Star Takao Osawa To Star In THE KING AND I At The London Palladium
Takao Osawa, the multi-award-winning actor and star of one of Japan's most popular television series JIN, will join the cast of THE KING AND I to play the Kralahome, trusted adviser to The King of Siam, when the smash hit musical transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium for "London's theatrical event of 2018" (Daily Express) on 21 June (Press Night 3 July).
Takao's hugely popular character in JIN (Jin Minakata) has been likened by many in Japan to the BBC's legendary time-travelling Doctor Who. Takao will join an illustrious cast, led by Tony Award winner and "Broadway musical's undisputed Queen" (Sunday Times) Kelli O'Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King, Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim, in this multi-award winning show.
Due to high demand Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE KING AND I also today announces that an extra Tuesday performance has been added to the London Palladium season in the final week on 25 September. This is in addition to the five extra Thursday matinees previously announced (30 August, 6, 13, 20 and 27 September). Much like it's acclaimed 16 month run at New York's Lincoln Center Theater and record-breaking sold out USA tour, The King & I is tipped to be London's must-see musical of 2018.
Takao Osawa swept up a total of seven awards as Best Actor for JIN, which was first broadcast in 2009, with a second series aired in 2011. Osawa was also the recipient of the Nikkan Sports Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on for his work on Metro ni notte as Sakichi Konuma. Films include the multi award winning Wolf Children where he played the Wolf Man. It was the second-highest grossing film in Japan on its debut weekend beating Pixar's animation Brave, which debuted in Japan on the same weekend. Other notable roles include Toma Fujihira in Ichi and Saizo Kirigakure in the Asian Film Award nominated Goemon. Osawa also appeared in A Terminal Trust directed by Masayuki Suo. His most recent film and TV appearances include The Lion Standing in the Wind as Koichiro Shimada and Inosuke Odamura in the Japanese series Hana Moyu.
Also joining the London cast are Jon Chew (Angels in America) in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn, Edward Baker-Duly (Wizard Of Oz, South Pacific) in dual roles as Sir Edward Ramsay and Captain Orton alongisde Annalene Beechey (Les Miserables, Into The Woods). The full ensemble cast of singers, actors and dancers will feature Kamm Kunaree, Jacqui Sanchez, Miiya Alexandra, Ena Yamaguchi, Ela Lisondra, Aiko Kato, Lily Wang, Yuki Abe, Saori Oda, Misa Koide, William Mychael Lee, Alistair So, Arthur Lee, Jorge Sprangers, Jonathan Caguioa, Cletus Chan, Jesse Milligan, Nick Len, Steven Hardcastle, Nicholas Li, Rachel Jayne Picar and Jasmine Leung.
Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will direct the production, hot on the heels of his work on The Lincoln Center Theater's World Premiere of J.T. Rogers' smash hit play Oslo, which opened on Broadway and then transferred via the National Theatre to London's Harold Pinter Theatre in October last year to rave reviews. He, along with the celebrated creative team behind the award-winning production of South Pacific and the Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady which is currently in previews, will reunite to bring this majestic production to life at the London Palladium.
With music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this masterpiece - one of their finest works - boasts a score featuring such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful. Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.