The Vaults, London – until 27 August 2017
From Daniel Clarkson (co-creator of Potted Potter) and director Owen Lewis comes this lively and very silly reimagining of the classic Kong story.
I will be the first to admit that I have never seen the appeal of King Kong as a film: a giant monkey that causes chaos and destruction just doesn’t seem like it makes gripping viewing onscreen. However, as Daniel Clarkson and Owen Lewis prove – it does provide plenty of opportunities for comedy.
Featuring a cast of five, King Kong follows renowned director Carl Denham across the globe in search of the illusive King Kong with the help of the not-so helpful Jack, the drink obsessed Skipper, leading lady and feisty to boot Ann and Token Guy who seems to attract disaster. What could possibly go wrong?
In this 80-minute energetic and funny show, plenty does go wrong to the delight of the audience. From Token Guy getting into fights with giant squids to gas grenades being set off at the wrong time, King Kong is jammed packed full of jokes that grab the audience’s attention.
Owen Jones has created a production that is imaginative and engaging, thanks to Simon Scullion’s multi layered set and the numerous props created by Sophia Simensky and Scullion that really enhance the humour, particularly during the scenes on the boat and the lead up to the heroes entering the cave to rescue Ann.
Due to everything being exaggerated, the production can begin to feel slightly wearisome in places particularly towards the end meaning that the energy can begin to flag just as the story reaches its climax and make it look as though it is trying too hard to entertain.
But there are some wonderful characterisations including Brendan Murphy as the unfortunate Token Guy who seems to move with each disaster thrown at him with great humour, Rob Crouch as the pompous director Carl Denham and Alix Dunmore as Ann – the only character that seems sensible and knows what to do in a crisis (of which there are many).
Overall, King Kong is a crazy and chaotic production that will appeal to those in need of light entertainment and is a great adventure from beginning to end.
King Kong continues to play at The Vaults until the 27th August. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.thevaults.london/king-kong