1953 West End Premiere

Rodgers & HammersteinThe King and I

The King and I made its West End premiere on October 8, 1953 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where it went on to run 926 performances, through January 14, 1956. This production starred Valerie Hobson as Anna Leonowens and Herbert Lom as The King. Harold Hobson of the London Sunday Times reported on this momentous opening: “The enthusiasm of the audience was boundless, and it is easy to understand why. The redoubtable author and composer think in terms of tunes and tales with a unison not matched since Gilbert and Sullivan, and this story provides an unceasing stream of very competent music, a clever ballet, a series of colorful and glittering costumes, and a softly muted love theme.”