KING KONG Returns to Cape Town for the Summer Season With An Extended Season at The Fugard

KING KONG Returns to Cape Town for the Summer Season With An Extended Season at The Fugard
Edith Plaatjies in KING KONG

After a sold-out six week season at the Fugard Theatre, the hit musical KING KONG returns by overwhelming public demand for the summer season. Presented by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, KING KONG will run from 12 December with bookings now extended to 18 February 2018.

More than half a century since the first performance in 1959, the Fugard Theatre's production of this iconic and historic musical has received rapturous responses, with BroadwayWorld's David Fick describing the show as " a handsomely mounted production that honours the spirit of this legendary South African musical" in his review of the debut season earlier this year.

KING KONG tells the story of heavyweight fifties boxing champion Ezekiel Dlamini, whose self-appointed ring name was "King Kong". Pat Williams wrote the original book for the musical, also setting lyrics to Todd Matshikiza's wildly exhilarating music, with Harry Bloom completing the final version of the book. This revival features a revised book and additional lyrics by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and playwright, William Nicholson, as well as additional music and musical arrangements by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.

Reprising his acclaimed performance in the role of King Kong is 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. He was voted by The Sowetan as one of Mzansi's Sexiest Top 12 Celebs in 2015 and played the character Zweli in the Mzansi Magic soap opera ISIBAYA, which was voted most popular TV soap at the 2017 SAFTA Awards.

Stepping into the shoes of shebeen queen Joyce in the role which helped propel Miriam Makeba to international fame in the original production of KING KONG, is Edith Plaatjies, who has previously dazzled audiences at The Fugard Theatre in productions such as DISTRICT SIX - KANALA, ORPHEUS IN AFRICA and BLOOD BROTHERS. With her powerhouse voice and electric stage presence, she has also been seen in productions such as RADIO CLASSICS, directed by David Kramer, and SLICK SWING and KAAPSE MUSIEK IN KLEUR, both directed by Alistair Izobell.

The Fugard Theatre's KING KONG cast also includes Sne Dladla as Pop, Josslynn Hlenti as Petal, Tshamano Sebe as Jack, Ntambo Rapatla as Miriam, Sanda Shandu as Lucky and Sabelo Radebe as Caswell. Also performing with the ensemble are Joel Zuma, JT Medupe, Athenkosi Mfamela, Shalom Zamisa, Sibusiso Mxosana, Aphiwe Menziwa, Namisa Mdlalose, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Lungelwa Mdekazi, Barileng Malebye, Rushney Ferguson, Given Mkhize, Siyasanga Papu, Ziyanda Yako, Masego Mothibakgomo and Jabulani Gambu.

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, as well as many other international productions, including the recent production of William Shakespeare's KING LEAR, starring Sir Ian McKellen, for the Chichester Festival in the United Kingdom. The associate director is Mdu Kweyama.

Musical direction for KING KONG is by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder and Sipumzo Trueman Lucwaba. A live 9-piece band, under Lucwaba's direction, accompanies the action at every performance. South African star choreographer and recent French Legion D'Honneur recipient Gregory Maqoma choreographs KING KONG.

The creative team of KING KONG is rounded out by Paul Wills (scenic design), Birrie le Roux (costume design), Tim Mitchell (lighting design) and Mark Malherbe (sound design).

Daniel Galloway, the executive director of the Fugard Theatre, comments on the festive season appeal of the production:

For those Capetonians who missed out on the first run of KING KONG, or who want to return with friends and family, this is the perfect holiday summer season entertainment and a celebration of local talent with our all-star South African cast.

Bookings for the return season of KING KONG at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town are online through Webtickets or by phone through the Fugard Theatre Box office on 021 461 4554, with tickets costing R130 - R280. The show runs on Tuesday through Saturdays at 20:00 with a 16:00 matinee on Saturdays and Sundays. On New Year's Eve, there will be a performance at 14:00 and the Fugard Theatre bar will close at 19:30.

The Harrington Street car park is located at the corner of Caledon and Harrington streets and is available for the use of theatre patrons. Visit the cosy ground-floor bar, which opens two hours before all scheduled show times and stays open until last rounds are called. If the weather is fine the bar on the fantastic rooftop terrace, with its panoramic views of the city, is opened. Both bars offer a range of wines from some of the Cape's top estates.

KING KONG has been nominated for thirteen BroadwayWorld South Africa Awards, namely Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, Best Director of a Musical, Best Lighting Design, Best Musical Direction, Best Performer in a Featured Role in a Musical (Lerato Mvelase and Ntambo Rapatla), Best Performer in a Leading Role in a Musical (Andile Gumbi, Nondumiso Tembe and Sne Dladla), Best Revival of a Musical, Best Scenic Design and Best Sound Design. Vote for your theatre picks of the year, submitted by BroadwayWorld readers, before the voting period closes on 31 December. For further information on the show, visit the production's official website.

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