Victoria’s elite art school grads dominate Kong-sized company
On 15 June, 2013 forty-nine actors, singers, dancers, circus performers and puppeteers will become the world premiere cast of the epic music theatre event KING KONG – and most of them are Victorians.
“We’ve been scouring the country since February 2011 for our cast and I am thrilled that we can finally reveal the all-Australian company that will join our principal cast, international creative and music team to bring Kong to life,” said Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures.
The full cast has finally been revealed ….
THE PRINCIPAL CAST
Esther Hannaford (Ann Darrow), Adam Lyon (Carl Denham), Chris Ryan (Jack Driscoll), Richard Piper (Captain Engelhorn), Queenie van de Zandt (Cassandra).
Charles Bartley, Damien Bermingham, Amy Berrisford, Amy Campbell, Sophie Carter, Angelique Cassimatis, Will Centurion, Andrew Cook, Samantha Leigh Dodemaide, Simon Fairweather, Samantha Hagen, Ross Hannaford, Melanie Hawkins, Danni Hegarty, Sam Hooper, Loren Hunter, Travis Khan, Leah Lim, Sam Marks, Hayley Martin, Scott McConnell, Tracie Morley, Glen Oliver, Chris Ostrenski, Joshua Robson, Romina Villafranca, Dean Vince, Leigh-Anne Vizer
THE KINGS MEN
Lincoln Barros, Steve Coupe, Adam Davis, Harley Durst, Ricky J. Everett, Josh Feldschuh, Brett Franzi, Nathan Jones, Nathan Kell, Russell Leonard, Brent Osborne, Troy Phillips, Mike Snow, Jacob Williams, Tayo Wilson.
ABOUT THE SHOW
– Read more about King Kong in our related DanceLife article HERE
“Not only will KING KONG be exclusive to Melbourne, but we are building Kong himself in our West Melbourne workshop, and we were pleased to discover it was Victoria’s arts training institutions that have proven to be the crucibles of the talent we needed.”
The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) is the biggest tertiary provider of cast to KING KONG, with both Adam Lyon (Carl Denham) and Chris Ryan (Jack Driscoll) being graduates, in addition to another six of the cast. In particular, the College’s Music Theatre course has made a miraculous recovery after being briefly cancelled by the University of Melbourne in 2009, supplying five graduates to the show.
“At the last election we committed to providing additional support for the VCA because we recognised the importance of access not only to world-class venues, but also to local, highly-skilled artisans if Victoria is to remain the arts capital of Australia,” said Premier and Arts Minister Ted Baillieu. “It is heartening that so many Victorian artists are involved in KING KONG, and we look forward to the production’s 2013 season being another reason for people to visit Melbourne.”
Professor Su Baker, Director of the VCA said, “It is thrilling to see so many of our graduates, across a number of art forms, working on KING KONG. It demonstrates the quality of education and strength of training at the VCA is proving attractive to producers like Global Creatures and establishes Melbourne as the home of Music Theatre in Australia, supported by the reintroduction of our Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre) program.”
Victoria’s National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) has also proved an invaluable resource for the production, not only during the numerous workshops of KING KONG, but in supplying six of the “Kings Men”. These aerialists will be purpose-trained by Puppetry Director Peter Wilson (and former head of VCA Puppetry) and Aerial/Circus Director Gavin Robins to manipulate the one-tonne, six-metre, giant silverback Kong on stage, complimenting the animatronic wizardry for which Global Creatures is renowned.
“I am thrilled to see NICA graduates bringing Kong to life as part of the ‘Kings Men’. It is fantastic that NICA and its facilities are playing a vital role in this very exciting industry,” said Pamela Creed, NICA Director & CEO.
KING KONG has shied away from big-name casting, and put its faith in a diverse cast that are highly skilled in their respective fields of specialty.
“I am ferociously proud of our 100% made-in-Australia cast. Audiences should brace themselves; not only does our cast dance and sing and act, but they fly, flip, and fall through the air, looking darn gorgeous in the process. Never before have I had the privilege of working with such a group of world-class entertainers,” said KING KONG Director Daniel Kramer.
In addition to its 49-strong cast, KING KONG will also employ a crew of 76 for the entire run of the show. Because of the sheer scale of the production it will not tour to other states or to New Zealand.
Read more about King Kong in our related DanceLife article HERE
KING KONG is authorised by the Merian C. Cooper Estate and is proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria and Tourism Victoria.
Previews from 28 May, Opening 15 June 2013
Regent Theatre, Melbourne
1300 111 011 or www.ticketmaster.com.au or Ticketmaster outlets
Groups 1300 889 278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticket prices: $60 – $129
Photo: NICA AND VCA CAST – (L to R) Jacob Williams (VCA), Tayo Wilson (NICA), Joshua Robson (VCA), Brett Franzi (NICA), Adam Lyon (VCA), Sam Hooper (VCA), Chris Ryan (VCA), Adam Davis (NICA) – photography Ponch Hawkes