Royal adviser: Japanese TV star Takao Osawa swaps the small screen for the London Palladium stage in The King & I

04 Apr
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Press Releases

Best-known for role in one of Japan’s most popular TV series, Takao Osawa will join the cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical to play Kralahome, trusted adviser to The King of Siam, when the musical opens in June 2018.

Osawa’s popular character in the TV show 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 Kelli O’Hara as Anna, Ken Watanabe as The King, Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha and Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim. The hit musical, directed by Bartlett Sher, transfers from Broadway to the London Palladium on 21 June 2018 (press night is 3 July).

Also joining the London cast are Jon Chew (Angels in America) in the role of Prince Chulalongkorn, Edward Baker-Duly (Wizard Of OzSouth Pacific) in dual roles as Sir Edward Ramsay and Captain Orton alongside Annalene Beechey (Les Misérables, Into The Woods).

The full ensemble cast of singers, actors and dancers will include 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.

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 the West End production, The King and I had a 16-month run at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater and a sold-out USA tour.


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.