Takao Osawa, the multi-award-winning actor and star of one of Japan’s most popular television series Jin, will join the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I to play Kralahome, trusted adviser to The King of Siam, when the smash hit musical transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium on 21 June 2018 (press night is 3 July).
Osawa’s popular character in Jin (Jin Minakata) has been likened by many in Japan to the BBC’s time-travelling Doctor Who. The actor will join the previously announced cast led by Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara as Anna, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as The King, Tony award-winning Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim.
Producers have also announced that an extra Tuesday performance has been added to the London Palladium season in the final week on 25 September. This is in addition to the five extra Thursday matinees previously announced (30 August, 6, 13, 20 and 27 September). In the run up to this West End production The King and I enjoyed a 16-month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and a record-breaking sold out USA tour.
Also joining the London cast are Jon Chew (Angels in America) in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn, Edward Baker-Duly (Wizard Of Oz, South Pacific) in dual roles as Sir Edward Ramsay and Captain Orton alongisde Annalene Beechey (Les Miserables, Into The Woods).
The full ensemble cast of singers, actors and dancers will feature Kamm Kunaree, Jacqui Sanchez, Miiya Alexandra, Ena Yamaguchi, Ela Lisondra, Aiko Kato, Lily Wang, Yuki Abe, Saori Oda, Misa Koide, William Mychael Lee, Alistair So, Arthur Lee, Jorge Sprangers, Jonathan Caguioa, Cletus Chan, Jesse Milligan, Nick Len, Steven Hardcastle, Nicholas Li, Rachel Jayne Picar and Jasmine Leung.
Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher, along with the celebrated creative team behind the award-winning production of South Pacific and the Lincoln Center Theater production of My Fair Lady which is currently in previews, will reunite to bring this production to life at the London Palladium.
Takao Osawa swept up a total of seven awards as Best Actor for Jin, which was first broadcast in 2009, with a second series aired in 2011. Osawa was also the recipient of the Nikkan Sports Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on for his work on Metro ni notte as Sakichi Konuma. Films include the multi award winning Wolf Children where he played the Wolf Man. Other notable roles include Toma Fujihira in Ichi and Saizo Kirigakure in the Asian Film Award nominated Goemon. Osawa also appeared in A Terminal Trust directed by Masayuki Suo. His most recent film and TV appearances include The Lion Standing in the Wind as Koichiro Shimada and Inosuke Odamura in the Japanese series Hana Moyu.