'King Kong' was a pioneering South African
musical inspired by the life and death of the heavyweight boxing
champion Ezekiel Dlamini. Billed as a 'Jazz-Opera', 'King Kong' featured
music by Todd Matshikiza and lyrics by Pat Williams.
The production was first staged at Johannesburg's Witwatersrand
University Great Hall, opening on February 2nd 1959 and went on to
take South Africa by storm. Nelson Mandela attended the
opening night and is on record as highlighting the show as his
favourite musical. The original South African production starred Nathan
Mdledle, Ruth Nkonyane, Dan Poho and Miriam Makeba,
helping launch Makeba's international career.
West End theatre impresario Jack Hylton was determined to bring the
ground breaking South African musical to London, insisting that as
many of the original cast members as possible transfer with the
production. 'King Kong' subsequently opened at London's Princes
Theatre on February 23rd 1961 and ran for 201
performances. Critics praised 'King Kong' for its inventive
staging, stand out performances and vibrant score. Stage Door
are pleased to debut the Original London Cast recording of 'King
Kong' on CD. The recording is complemented with selections from
the Original South African Cast recording, including many
songs that were subsequently cut from the London production.
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DATE: SEPTEMBER 28th, 2018