As Director, Sher did a good job with the beloved period source material and Casting Director, Serena Hill, deserves serious props for bringing together such talented cast members on such a vast scale. George was punchy, emotive and powerful in her delivery of Anna. Lee, whilst he could have used more strength to show why he was dubbed as a barbaric monster, worked hand-in-hand with George to create an easy chemistry between our lead characters. Their journey together was both turbulent and heart-warming with spurts of dry humour implemented that were genuinely rib-tickling. Caleb Lagayan was excellent as Prince Chulalongkorn. The character developed wonderfully as the show progressed, his vocals were strong and there was glorious support from Cezarah Bonner as his mother, Lady Thiang, who commanded the stage and presented powerfully emotive vocals throughout. Furthermore, the comedy of the ensemble, particularly during the play within a play scene, was a highlight.
Lighting design by Donald Holder, with its rich hues and use of shadow to add dimension to the set, wonderfully complemented Michael Yeargan’s simple yet effective set design. This, though decadent in parts, was minorly let down due to, what I assume was, budget constraints in comparison to other recent productions. Costumes, designed by Catherine Zuber, were sublime. Culturally accurate, their rich colours and textures popped beautifully against the backdrop of Sher’s Siam.