King Kong is coming to Melbourne, 2013

King Kong

King Kong is descending on Melbourne in 2013, and he’s going to be huge. (Seven metres tall, in fact!)

It was announced today that the larger-than-life ape will storm the Regent Theatre from early 2013, in a brand new musical produced by Global Creatures.

The show will only play in Melbourne in Australia (no tour is planned) with the hopes of sending the musical to Broadway soon after.

King Kong will be made in Melbourne, and exclusive to Melbourne due to its scale. We look forward to welcoming visitors from right around Australia and the region to Melbourne to experience the magic of King Kong before it transfers to the rest of the world”, said Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher.

It is understood that the sheer size of Kong himself (pictured in workshop phase) restricts the movability of the creature, thus the decision to make the Regent Theatre his only home in Australia.

Global Creatures, the company behind King Kong, is a great Australian success story of a pioneering company creating new theatrical productions in Australia and taking them to the world. In addition to King Kong, Global Creatures has announced a partnership with Bazmark to produce a stage musical adaptation of the first movie of Baz Luhrmann’s ground-breaking Red Curtain Trilogy, Strictly Ballroom.

They are also working in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation to develop an arena show based on the hugely successful film How to Train Your Dragon, which will also premiere in Melbourne in March 2012.

Global Creatures executives joined the Tourism Minister today at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, North Melbourne to announce the world premiere season while auditions for the show were taking place at the famed dance school. Set in 1933 in New York City at the height of the Depression, King Kong will feature a cast of more than 40 actors, singers, dancers and puppeteers, and the team saw a sneak peek of the dance auditions this morning.

King Kong“This confirms Melbourne’s position as Australia’s favourite destination for great theatre and major events and underscores its international status as a hub of cultural excellence,” Minister Asher said.

Part of the Government’s Major Events Strategy, King Kong is set to attract thousands of interstate and international visitors to Victoria, creating jobs and generating economic benefits for Victoria, as well as adding to the liveability and vibrancy of Melbourne.

“As Minister also responsible for the state’s film and innovation industries, I am thrilled with the opportunities the project will bring to Melbourne’s creative practitioners, as King Kong will also build on the state’s reputation as a powerhouse in technical innovation”, Minister Asher added.

Expanding on Global Creatures’ approach to entertainment, Producer of King Kong, Carmen Pavlovic, added: “This show continues the innovative direction of Global Creatures in creating world class productions in Australia and then taking them to the world. In this regard, King Kong is in a class all of its own in terms of scale, vision, ambition and technical advancement, and we can’t wait to see it come to life in Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. We have been impressed by the entrepreneurial vision of the Victorian Major Events Company in securing King Kong for Melbourne and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with them through to the opening in 2013.”

King Kong dance callIt is understood that the show will be workshopped in mid 2012, presumably to work with the seven-metre anamatronic creature (Kong) in Melbourne and to place the finishing touches on an already workshopped show. The most recent workshop took place in July 2011, and this full year break will allow the writers to iron out any kinks in the story and fully prepare what promises to be a beautiful production.

Produced by Global Creatures (the company which brought us Walking With Dinosaurs), the show is scheduled to be workshopped again in mid 2012, and rehearsals for the main stage production are set to begin sometime in 2013.

The most recent workshop took place in July 2011, and this full year break will allow the writers to iron out any kinks in the story and put the finishing touches on what promises to be a beautiful production.

The show will feature both original and period (1930) music. Original score from Marius de Vries. Directed by Daniel Kramer and choreographed by John O’Connell, the King Kong is sure to be a feast for the eyes, ears and imagination.


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

2 thoughts on “King Kong is coming to Melbourne, 2013

  • This is going to be a fabulous show, my husband and I love King Kong.

  • Saw a preview of the show last night. The staging is fabulous and Kong stole the show but sadly I found that’s were it ended. The puppeteers frequently stole my focus (perhaps their faces could be blacked out a little better). None of the original scores are particularly memorable and other numbers were “cheesy”. A great opportunity to stage a strong routine (when Kong is introduced to NY) was passed over in place of the worst piece of fluff I’ve ever seen. The show became boring in the second act, the timing and delivery was often poor and some inclusions are plainly nonsensical. On a positive note, the male, love interest lead has a great voice and loads of stage presence and the elve’s cod pieces made for interesting after theater discussion. Hopefully it will be tightened up before opening night.


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