Hastleons bringing The King and I to the White Rock this month

Hastings’ oldest community theatre group will be bringing the spectacular sets, lavish costumes and catchy tunes of the West End to our doorstep on Wednesday October 23rd when they perform family favourite The King and I at The White Rock Theatre.

The Hastleons – a charity that has been providing musical entertainment to the town for an astonishing 93 years  – will be bringing the ancient court of Siam to life for six incredible, live shows.

The cast is made up entirely of volunteers aged from just three to 63, all of whom have given up their time and expertise over the last five months to produce the much-loved musical.

Audiences will be delighted to follow the gripping story of English governess Anna Leonowens, who, after being widowed, sails half way across the globe with her son to work in the court of King Mongkut, of what was Siam (Thailand).

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Although set in the 1860s, the tale has a very modern message about the equality of women and an end to slavery and corporal punishment.

Choreographer Royah Hamed said: “We are delighted to be bringing this production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The King and I to Hastings.

“Audiences can expect all of the thrills, drama and unforgettable show tunes of a West End production; it is a really exciting musical with a great storyline.

“Lots of local kids are playing the King’s royal children, and some will be taking to the stage for the first time. It will be lovely to see. And on the other hand, we have some really experienced cast members too – so expect some belting showstoppers!

“The leads – Steve Corke, who plays ‘The King’, and Zola Thomas as ‘Anna’ – have a number of years of performing experience between them and they actually last appeared together in The King and I 20 years ago as the star-crossed young lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim– so it will be great fun to see them return as the main characters.”

The King and I will be at The White Rock Theatre from Wednesday October 23rd to Saturday 26th at 7.30pm. There also two matinees on Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th at 2.30pm.

For tickets, please call the box office on:  01424 462288.  Or on-line:  https://whiterocktheatre.org.uk/Online/tickets-the-king-and-i-hastings-2019.

The Hastleons, who have helped a whole host of local talent become professionals, are a registered charity and receive no funding. All of their costs are met by ticket sales and fundraising events, and occasional one-off donations.

The organisation, whose first show was staged at The Gaiety Theatre in 1926, tries to ensure that a portion of all funds raised are donated to local causes. St Michael’s Hospice and Sussex Air Ambulance have received profits from programme sales in the past. This year they will be supporting The Hastings Music Festival, in memory of the late Molly Townson.

On top of this the group gives free use of its hall on Bexhill Road, Hastings, to Active Arts, a registered charity that runs visual and performing arts classes for adults with learning disabilities.

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