Press: KING KONG sells out Cape Town run – return season announced!

August 30, 2017

The Eric Abraham and Fugard Theatre production of KING KONG has sold out its Cape Town first run. The show ends at the Fugard Theatre on 2 September before transferring to the Mandela Theatre at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg from 12 September until 8 October.


For those Capetonians who missed out or who want to return with friends and family, the good news is that the Fugard Theatre has announced a return run for the holiday season from 12 December and bookings are now OPEN THROUGH WEBTICKETS or the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554.


More than half a century since the first performance in 1959, the Fugard Theatre’s production of this iconic and historic musical has received five star reviews and rapturous audience responses. Press comments have included:


 “5 stars – KING KONG is a knock-out success.Gumbi…and Tembe… are an iconic double treat”

– Debbie Hathway, City Press


“5 sterre - KING KONG bekoor teatergangers…Daar is gelet op die fynstebesonderhede.”

– Mariana Malan, Die Burger


"KING KONG – Legend of a Boxer' is its own entity and while it is tethered to the past it soars to its own heights."
– Marianne Thamm, Daily Maverick


"Apart from the collective excellence of its cast, both actors and musicians, this production is stellar by virtue of its staging."
– Beverley Brommert, Cape Times


“a triumphant production..brilliant choreography”
– Orielle Berry, Cape Argus


"The end result is not only an immaculately staged piece of theatre, but also a tribute to South Africa’s performance arts legacy... KING KONG 2017 is a knockout."
– Siya Mahomba,


“ …KING KONG 2017 is a beautifully staged, impeccably performed piece of work, bubbling with vitality and sparkling with talent”
– Karen Rutter, Weekend Special


"KING KONG is a theatrical treat, and something to treasure and celebrate for the fact that it brings to the here and now a part of South African theatre history."
– Barbara Loots, TheatreSceneCpt


“KING KONG lives on today in a handsomely mounted production that honours the spirit of this legendary South African musical.”
– David Fick – Broadway World


“The Fugard’s stage might be small in size but what it lacks in dimensions it makes up for tenfold by putting on strong productions that capture South Africa in a way that few other theatre houses have done before."
– Alex Isaacs, Channel 24


" ... pure genot. Elke akteur, danser, sanger en musikant in die nege-man-orkes gee hulself met oorgawe vir die produksie..."
– Maryke Roberts, Litnet

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 of KING KONG united audiences of all races – at the height of apartheid - and was a celebration of South African talent,”says Daniel Galloway the Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre. “We have been delighted to see that audiences from all walks of life and across several generations have enjoyed the 2017 production which is itself a celebration of our outstanding local talent.”


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) amongst many other international productions. Following KING KONG Munby directs Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare's KING LEAR for the Chichester Festival in the UK.


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.

Set design is by Paul Wills (A Human Being Died that Night, Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet, West End - Wyndham's Theatre - David Mamet's American Buffalo); Costume design by Birrie le Roux (West Side Story, Orpheus in Africa, District Six: Kanala); Lighting Design by Tim Mitchell (A Human Being Died That Night; Royal Shakespeare Company's King Lear with Antony Sher - Associate artist RSC/Chichester Festival Theatre) and Sound Design by Mark Malherbe (West Side Story, Funny Girl). The associate director is Mdu Kweyama.


Leading the stellar and all South African cast is actor, singer and dancer Andile Gumbi (The Lion King, isiBaya) in the title role of King Kong and multiple award-winning actress and singer-songwriter Nondumiso Tembe (True Blood, David Mamet’s RACE) as shebeen queen Joyce in the role which helped propel Miriam Makeba to international fame in the original production of King Kong.


The Fugard Theatre's KING KONG cast includes: Sne Dladla, Sanda Shandu; Lerato Mvelase, Tshamano Sebe and Ntambo Rapatla.


Also performing with the ensemble are Sabelo Radebe, Joel Zuma, Ben Kgosimore, Athenkozi Mfamela, Shalom Zamisa, Sibusiso Mxosana, Aphiwe Menziwa, Namisa Mdlalose, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Lungelwa Mdekazi, Dolly Louw, Barileng Malebye, Edith Plaatjies, Rushney Ferguson and Given Mkhize.


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


KING KONG will return to the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town from 12 December.

KING KONG will run at the the Mandela Theatre at the Joburg Theatre Johannesburg from 12 September until 8 October 2017, 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 both the return Cape Town season and the Johannesburg run can be made at Webtickets

Bookings for the Cape Town return season can also be made through the Fugard Theatre Box office on 021 461 4554.

Bookings for Joburg Theatre can also be made through the Theatre Box Office on 0861670670 or 011 877 6855.

For further information visit



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