Over half a century since the original production, the Fugard Theatre’s brand new production of the legendary South African musical, ‘King Kong’, is ready to go.
The Eric Abraham produced production is showing until September 2 at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, after which it will move to the Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg.
‘King Kong – The Musical’ tells the story of heavyweight fifties boxing champion Ezekiel Dlamini whose self-appointed ring name was “King Kong” to the wildly exhilarating music of Todd Matshikiza.
The 1959 production of South Africa’s first black musical was set in Sophiatown in Johannesburg in the late-fifties. ‘King Kong’ toured South Africa, and was seen by 200000 South Africans, playing to record-breaking and multi-racial audiences – as apartheid was being implemented – before transferring in February 1961 to London’s West End for a 200-performance run. ‘King Kong’ launched the international careers of Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela among many others.
The Fugard Theatre’s ‘King Kong’ is directed by Jonathan Munby, who directed the Fugard Theatre’s production of ‘A Human Being Died That Night’ with Noma Dumezweni (the only double Olivier award-winning Southern African actor) amongst many other international productions. Following ‘King Kong’, Munby will direct Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ for the Chichester Festival in the UK.
Cast in the title role of King Kong is South African star – actor, singer and dancer – Andile Gumbi. Gumbi made his Broadway debut as Simba in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ and has starred in productions of this musical in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and South Africa.
Multiple award-winning actress and singer-songwriter Nondumiso Tembe will be recreating the role of Joyce, which propelled Miriam Makeba to international fame in the original production of King Kong.
Book for the Cape Town season at Computicket, or at the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554.
For more information, visit www.kingkongstagemusical.com