Countdown to 2018 in SA style at Fugard Theatre


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Start the countdown to 2018 early in all-South African style at the Fugard Theatre on Sunday 31 December.

KING KONG - THE MUSICAL will be performed at 14:00 on Sunday 31 December, New Year's Eve. Photo credit: Daniel Rutland Manners.
KING KONG – THE MUSICAL will be performed at 14:00 on Sunday 31 December, New Year’s Eve. Photo credit: Daniel Rutland Manners.

Presented by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, the highly acclaimed production of historic, South African musical King Kong returns by overwhelming demand for the summer season.

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A special New Year’s Eve performance will take place at 2pm on Sunday 31 December. Patrons will be able to enjoy a glass of complimentary South African Cap Classique sparkling wine after the performance for each ticket purchased and the Fugard’s two fully stocked bars include a range of wines from some of the Cape’s top estates. The bars will close at 7.30pm.

More than half a century since the first performance in 1959, the Fugard Theatre’s production of King Kong features an all-South African cast and stellar creative team, and has been described as “Five stars” “a knock-out success”, “simply magnificent”, “a tribute to South Africa’s performance arts legacy” and “a theatrical treat”.

“What better way to start the countdown to 2018 than celebrating our world-class local talent,” says Daniel Galloway, the Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre. “King Kong is the quintessential South African musical with a proud heritage and our 2017 production features a phenomenal all-South African cast. Guests can enjoy some of our finest local wines, and take in the sweeping views of Table Mountain and the City from our rooftop bar, before heading off with their friends and family to herald in the New Year.”

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 original production helped in part to launch the international careers of Miriam Makeba, among others.

Performing the iconic role of shebeen queen Joyce is powerhouse Edith Plaatjies, (District Six: Kanala; Orpheus in Africa, Blood Brothers, Radio Classics, Kaapse Musiek In Kleur), with acting, singing and dancing star Andile Gumbi (The Lion King, isiBaya) reprising his performance in the title role as King Kong.

A live 9-piece band, under the direction of Sipumzo Trueman Lucwaba, accompanies the action at every performance.

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) amongst many other international productions including the recent production of Shakespeare’s King Lear for the Chichester Festival in the UK starring Sir Ian McKellen.

The original production featured music by Todd Matshikiza, lyrics and original book by Pat Williams and book by Harry Bloom.

The revised book (with additional lyrics) is by Academy award nominated screenwriter and playwright William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator, Les Miserables, Sarafina, Long Walk to Freedom). South African choreographer star and recent French Legion D’Honneur recipient Gregory Maqoma choreographs King Kong to the irresistible original music of the late great South African composer Todd Matshikiza.

The Fugard Theatre’s production sees Musical Direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (West Side Story, Funny Girl, Cabaret) and Sipumzo Trueman Lucwaba with additional music and arrangements by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.

The Fugard Theatre’s King Kong 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); Josslynn Hlenti as Petal (The Lion King; South African Idols) and Sabelo Radebe as Caswell (West Side Story; Peter Pan) .

King Kong
King Kong

Also performing with the ensemble are Joel Zuma (Sophiatown; Kwela Bafana – The Musical); JT Medupe (Hansel and Gretel; Peter Rabbit); Athenkosi Mfamela (In The City of Paradise; Bash or Be Bashed); Shalom Zamisa (Voices of Hope; Sarafina); Sibusiso Mxosana (West Side Story; Funny Girl; A Spartacus of Africa); Aphiwe Menziwa (Passage; Inexba Lomphillisi); Namisa Mdlalose (Rent); Siphiwe Nkabinde (Exit/Exist; Music in the Air); Lungelwa Mdekazi (African Angels; Phantom of the Opera); Barileng Malebye (Sophiatown; Making Mandela; Dogma; Emotional Creature); Rushney Ferguson (District Six: Kanala); Given Mkhize (Sacredspace; In The End is My Beginning); Siyasanga Papu (Marikana the Musical; Rhythm City); Ziyanda Yako (The Colored Museum; Ingoma); Masego Mothibakgomo (Festival of The Lion King; Romeo ‘n Juliet Unplugged) and Jabulani Gambu (The Lion King; Clash of the Choirs).

The New Year’s Eve performance of King Kong starts at 2pm on Sunday 31 December. Tickets to this performance cost from R180 – R280. and include a complimentary glass of Cap Classique after the show. The Fugard Theatre bar will close at 7.30pm.

King Kong runs at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town until 18 February Tuesday to Saturdays at 8pm with a matinee at 3pm on Saturdays and on Sundays at 4pm.

Tickets for other performances cost from R130 to R280. All Bookings can be made at Webtickets and through the Fugard Theatre Box office on 021 461 4554.

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