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Glowing review for King and I from Le Figaro

Lee Blakeley’s production of The King and I at the Chatelet, starring Lambert Wilson and Susan Graham and designed by Jean-Marc Puissant, has opened to a glowing review from Le Figaro.

Describing it as ‘un triomphe à faire pâlir Broadway!’ (a triumph to rival Broadway), it praises both direction and design:

‘Le metteur en scène relit la pièce avec une élégance enjouée, mais dans une fidélité parfaite.’…’Chaque scène est ciselée loin d’un kitsch de pacotille: décors de paravents, costumes d’or et de couleurs, sans lésiner sur les accessoires…’ (The director’s reading of the play had a carefree elegance, whilst remaining totally true to the text… Every scene was crafted in a style that had no trace of trashy kitsch; sets made up of screens, costumes which were golden and colourful, props that pulled out all the stops).

Blakeley is praised for going back to the original book, forgetting the Yul Brynner film: ‘he orchestrates with a new finesse the encounter between the mighty king, surrounded by his concubines (the true Mongkut had 600), and a slight stiff teacher, shaped by the spirit of Victorian England.’

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