This looks absolutely fantastic, and I am so excited to be heading through this week! It first premiered over 50 years ago, and Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre are now bringing this legendary and iconic musical ‘home’ to Johannesburg, following a five star review run in Cape Town. Hello there King Kong!
The run comes hot off the Cape Town season, which played to five star reviews, rapturous responses and sold-out houses at the Fugard Theatre.
The show is currently running until Sunday 8 October 2017 on The Mandela stage at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.
King Kong 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 Fugard Theatre is proud to be bringing this revered and iconic musical home to Johannesburg featuring a supremely talented all South African cast and stellar creative team,” says Daniel Galloway the Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre. “King Kong – The Musical has a special connection with Johannesburg, as it was, in the words of Esme Matshikiza, composer Todd Matshikiza’s wife, ‘so deeply rooted in Johannesburg’s urban culture of the time.’ We are honouring those roots and, while remaining true to the original production, our Fugard Theatre King Kong will reimagine the musical for the 21st Century”.
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. Gumbi, who was voted by The Sowetan as one of Mzansi’s Sexiest Top 12 celebs in 2015, is the character Zweli in the Mzansi Magic soap opera isiBaya, which was voted most popular TV soap at the 2017 SAFTA Awards.
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. Tembe’s extensive list of credits include HBO’s Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning True Blood, SABC’s Generations, the military drama SIX on the History Channel and Zulu Wedding opposite Darrin Dewitt Henson. She won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Naledi Theatre Award in 2014 for her portrayal of Susan in David Mamet’s RACE, which toured South Africa, and to the Edinburgh Festival. Her debut album Izwi Lami – My Voicereceived much acclaim including a Metro FM Music Awardfor Best Music Video.
Other cast includes: Sanda Shandu as Lucky (Orpheus in Africa); Tshamano Sebe as Jack (Athol Fugard’s Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek; Master Harold and the Boys; Noem my Skollie); Ntambo Rapatla as Miriam (Menopause the Musical); Sne Dladla as Pop (District Six: Kanala; Orpheus in Africa; Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek); Lerato Mvelase as Petal (Isibaya; Play Me) and Sabelo Radebe as Caswell (West Side Story; Peter Pan) .
A live 9-piece band, under the direction of Sipumzo Trueman Lucwaba, will accompany the action at every performance.
Born in Vryheid in the then Orange Free State, Ezekiel Dlamini himself became and unwitting symbol for freedom and the wasted power of his people under apartheid. After a meteoric boxing rise Dlamini’s life degenerated into drunkenness and gang violence.
In 1957 Dlamini was to be a classic Greek tragic figure when, in a fit of jealousy, he killed his girlfriend and at his trial asked for the death sentence to serve as a warning to others. Instead, the white judge, refusing to take instruction from a black defendant, sentenced Dlaminito twelve years hard labour. Three months later King Kong was found drowned in a dam on a prison farm. At 36 years old King Kong had taken his destiny into his own hands and, inadvertently, become a legend.
Now on at The Mandela Stage, Joburg Theatre until 8th October!
Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a 3pm matinee performance on Saturdays and a 2pm matinee performance on Sundays.
Tickets range from R150 to R350.
Bookings for the Johannesburg season can be made at www.joburgtheatre.com or through Webtickets at www.webtickets.co.za or try calling the Joburg Theatre Box Office on 0861 670 670.
There is a suggested age restriction of PG10.
For further information visit http://www.kingkongstagemusical.com