Pune: The Bishop’s Co-Ed School, Undri recently held its annual concert based on the famous Broadway Play ‘The King and I’.
It is the fifth musical by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on Margaret Landon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which is in turn derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s.
The musical’s plot relates the experiences of Anna, a British school teacher hired as part of the King’s drive to modernise and educate his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the piece, as well as by a love to which neither can admit.
The evening witnessed various underlying themes: customs and tradition, culture clash, knowledge and ignorance, British imperialism, orientalism, slavery and chauvinism, all entwined with subtle humour throughout.
A total cast of more than 275 students participated in the two-hour long concert and it took them one and half months of dedicated preparation.
Henry Soggee, Principal, said, “The children have worked hard and learned to work as a team with a cross section of students varying from primary to high school. They will take back great learning and memories for a lifetime. The coordinating directors and teachers made a lot of efforts to put the jigsaw puzzle together and made the act thorough.” After the play, every member who was instrumental in its production was felicitated by Soggee.