As rehearsals get underway this week, the final cast has been announced for the world premiere of King Kong, five fearless actors who will bring terror – and laughter – to The Vaults tunnels underneath London’s Waterloo Station from Thursday 22 June to 27 August 2017, with a press night on 4 July.
My Theatre Mates dropped into the rehearsal room to meet the cast, along with writer Daniel Clarkson and director Owen Lewis as part of a series of short videos for King Kong we’ll be releasing in the coming days and weeks…
Ever since Fay Wray first charmed the great gorilla in the original 1933 film, King Kong has been a byword for epic cinema, challenging successive filmmakers to outdo the last with bigger and better special effects to impress and terrify audiences in equal measure.
Now this new comic theatrical staging of the story takes a very different approach, as you’d expect from writer Daniel Clarkson (co-creator of worldwide hit Potted Potter) and director Owen Lewis, who between them have three Olivier Award nominations. With just five actors and no high-tech wizardry, Kong will come to new life up close for theatre audiences.
Follow the intrepid cast as they journey to uncharted waters in search of the Eighth Wonder of the World – a gorilla so enormous he instils fear in all who set eyes on him. As hunter becomes the hunted, the story journeys to the iconic skyline of New York City where one burning question must be answered: just how many bananas should we order in?
The cast are: Benjamin Chamberlain (It’s a Wonderful Life, UK tour), Rob Crouch (nominated for the ‘Best Solo Performance’ WhatsOnStage Award for Oliver Reed: Wild Thing, St James Theatre), Sam Donnelly (nominated Most Promising Newcomer for his lead role in the film The Return, which was also nominated Best British Feature at Raindance Film Festival), Alix Dunmore (Pamela/Annabella/Margaret, The 39 Steps, West End, 2014/15; The Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s Christmas Carol) and Brendan Murphy (Sir Toby Belch, Twelfth Night, Orange Tree; Potted Potter, Toronto & Chicago).
King Kong is designed by Simon Scullion with costumes and props by Sophia Simensky, lighting by Tim Mascall and sound by Sam Clarkson.