Recognise the past, celebrate the future and make the most of the Day on Reconciliation this year
King Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run
Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical
After six sold-out weeks, the iconic tale of the legendary South African boxer, King Kong, returns to the Fugard Theatre’s stage this December for one last run. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of South African theatrical history.
The thrilling re-staging comes 56 years after the production's final curtain call at the Wits University Great Hall, in Johannesburg. The Todd Matshikiza and Pat Williams’ musical returns with all the excitement and euphoria of the original from Tuesday, 12 December 2017 to Friday, 9 February 2018. They recently returned from a stint in Joburg, and they’re ending with another fabulous run at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.
King Kong chronicles the inspiring rise and tragic fall of South African heavyweight boxing Champion Ezekiel Dlamini. Born in 1921, the champ was propelled into the spotlight during the peak of his career, in the 1950s. As fame goes, the boxer was set up by one of his enemies and it landed him in jail – the fierce athlete was never the same. But that’s all you’re getting from us. If you want to see how this powerful production concludes you’ll have to head to the Fugard Theatre and see it for yourself!
King Kong is vibrant and exhilarating. It will tug at your heartstrings, split your sides with laughter and have your feet tapping to the infectious beats. Vocals are executed effortlessly. The characters are charismatic, lovable and sincere, going through trials and tribulations still all too familiar. The phenomenal all-black cast cover pertinent socio-economic problems and themes still plaguing our beautiful country.
Jonathan Munby, whose theatre portfolio includes Julius Caesar with the Chicago Shakespeare Company and The Crucible at the Cocoon Theatre in Tokyo, directs a star studded cast. You might recognise: male lead, Andile Gumbi, who appeared in The Lion King (The Musical) and TV soap IsiBaya. King Kong’s female lead, Joyce, will be played by Edith Plaatjies who has appeared in a few local productions namely District Six - Kanala, Orpheus in Africa and Blood Brothers. Also appearing in King Kong is Sne Dladla, the comedian who just completed the first run of his solo show, iChameleon and was cast in District Six - Kanala. Other notable names include Tshamano Sebe (Master Harold and the Boys and Noem my Skollie), Josslynn Hlenti (The Lion King, and South African Idols) and Sabelo Radebe (West Side Story and Peter Pan). The rest of the cast includes: Sanda Shandu, Ntambo Rapatla, Joel Zuma, JT Medupe, Athenkosi Mfamela, Shalom Zamisa, Sibusiso Mxosana, Aphiwe Menziwa, Namisa Mdlalose, Siyasanga Papu, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Lungelwa Mdekazi, Ziyanda Yako, Barileng Malebye, Masego Mothibakgomo, Rushney Ferguson, Given Mkhize and Jabu Gambu.
William Nicholson’s revised book and lyrics and musical director Charl-Johan Lingenfelder’s additional music and arrangements bring jazz, swing and secular Xhosa/Zulu choral music together flawlessly. While Gregory Maqoma choreography merges step, traditional Xhosa/Zulu and swing dance. The set design is inspired! Costume and scene changes are seamless and make the best use of the multipurpose space. There is notable attention to detail; the costumes are historically accurate and perfectly suited to each character.
Eric Abrahams produces this edition of the prodigious production that was monumental in the careers of Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. Words from Esme Matshikiza, wife of late composer Todd Matshikiza, and Irene Menell, widow of musical investor Clive Menell, below:
TICKETS FOR THE 2017 PRODUCTION OF KING KONG AT THE FUGARD THEATRE
You can grab your tickets from Webtickets.co.za. The show runs from Tuesday, 12 December 2017 to Friday, 9 February 2018. Most performances start at 8pm, but there are matinee shows on weekends at either 2pm, 3pm or 4pm depending on which day you elect to attend. Tickets range from R160/p to R280/p, depending on seating.
If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to give the Fugard Theatre a call directly on +27 (0)21 461 4554 and they will be sure to help.
Photography by Daniel Rutland Manners.
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