King Kong roars into Melbourne

King Kong arrival JEFF BUSBY

One of the most anticipated productions this year, King Kong will have its world premiere on Saturday 15 June 2013 at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, the culmination of five years of development by Australian producer Global Creatures.

The 50-strong Australian cast of actors, singers, dancers, circus performers and puppeteers is led by Esther Hannaford as Ann Darrow, newcomer Adam Lyon as Carl Denham, Chris Ryan as Jack Driscoll, veteran stage actor Richard Piper as Captain Engelhorn and the queen of musical theatre and cabaret, Queenie van de Zandt as Cassandra.

Based on the novel of the original 1933 screenplay, the stage show of King Kong is a modern take on the classic tale of beauty and the beast. This timeless love story hits the Melbourne stage as the world marks the 80th anniversary of the original Merian C. Cooper King Kong movie.

King Kong features new and existing songs from some of the world’s best contemporary artists, including 3D from Massive Attack, Sarah McLachlan, Justice, Guy Garvey from Elbow and The Avalanches. The music is being overseen by composer and arranger Marius de Vries, whose credits include the soundtracks for Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet.

Pioneering Creature Designer Sonny Tilders has developed the 6-metre, 1.1-tonne Kong that will feature in the show, bringing together the worlds of animatronics and puppetry to provide a subtlety of expression that has never been seen on stage before. Kong is entirely Melbourne-made and will be an epic and dazzlingly original theatrical experience.

King Kong tells of a Hollywood director, Carl Denham, who takes his crew on a perilous journey to the last uncharted place on earth, Skull Island, to capture a huge prehistoric creature, the last of his kind – Kong. The love affair between Denham’s star, Ann Darrow, and his first mate, Jack Driscoll, unfolds against the burgeoning horror of Kong’s ultimate escape and threatened destruction of Manhattan.

King Kong is one of the few modern tales to stand beside the ancient myths for its power to inspire wonder, fear and romance in equal measure.

King Kong
Regent Theatre – 191 Collins St, Melbourne
Season opens: Saturday 15 June 2013
Bookings: 1300 111 011 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Jeff Busby