After five years in development and one of the most ambitious productions ever to be seen on the Australian stage, King Kong will premiere in June at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre for an exclusive season.
Based on one of the great modern myths, this world-first adaptation as a large-scale musical has been created by an award-winning international team comprising: director Daniel Kramer, a Southbank Award-winner and rising star of the European opera and theatre stages; Tony-nominated writer Craig Lucas; BAFTA winner and Grammy-nominated composer and arranger Marius de Vries; young New York-based lyricist Michael Mitnick; and American Choreography Award-winner John O’Connell.
Bringing the vision to life will be the multiple Helpmann Award-winning production designer Peter England; creature designer Sonny Tilders, the mastermind behind the amazing animatronics in WWD and HTTYD; Tony Award-winning costume designer Roger Kirk; the Olivier Award-winning UK lighting designer Peter Mumford; Grammy, Tony and Olivier Award-nominated US sound designer Peter Hylenski; Berlinbased, Green Room Award-winning projection designer Frieder Weiss; international aerial and circus director Gavin Robins and puppetry director Peter Wilson, a Sidney Myer Performing Artist of the Year.
Some of the world’s best contemporary artists, including Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack, Sarah McLachlan, Justice, Guy Garvey from Elbow and The Avalanches will be contributing new and existing songs to the musical landscape of the show, with Stephen Pavlovic from Modular People, the Sydney-based music label and promoter, a key collaborator.
Featuring a cast of 49 actors, singers, dancers, circus performers and puppeteers; a crew of 76; and arguably the most technologically advanced puppet in the world – a one-tonne, six-metre tall giant silverback – King Kong 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 previews from 28 May ahead of its official opening on 15 June 2013. For more information, visit: www.kingkongliveonstage.com for details.