King Kong

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King Kong[1] is the name of an iconic 20th century character (in film and other media), and also the name given to a number of plays, musicals and films since 1933.

The original text

King Kong (originally simply "Kong") is the name given to the colossal gorilla, a character created by filmmaker Merian C. Cooper and scriptwriter Edgar Wallace (1875–1932) [2] for the sensational 1933 RKO film by the same name.


The film went on to become an influential cinematic legend, with the character firmly established as one of the world's most famous movie icons, and both the character and the theme (of a ravaging huge monster) inspiring countless sequels, remakes, spin-offs, imitators, parodies, cartoons, books, comics, video games, theme park rides, and even a number of stage plays. His role in the different narratives varies, ranging from a rampaging monster to a tragic antihero.

In 1959 a musical called King Kong opened in Johannesburg, South Africa - though not based on the Edgar Wallace character. (See King Kong: An All-African Jazz Opera below.)

In 2013 a musical called King Kong, this time based on the film story, opened in Australia[3].

South African stage versions

In South Africa there have been two stage plays by this name.

(1) King Kong: An All-African Jazz Opera by Todd Matshikiza, Harry Bloom and Pat Willams(1959)

See King Kong: An All-African Jazz Opera

(2) King Kong by Aldo Brincat (2001)

Called a "Physical Comedy", it is a one hour slapstick spoof on the movie of the same name, written and produced by Aldo Brincat in Durban, 2001

2001: First performed in the Kwasuka Theatre, Durban on 29 October to 24 November by Aldo Brincat and Michael Gritten, directed by Peter Court.

King Kong won two Durban theatre awards at the time, one for best director the other for best actor (Michael Gritten).


"King Kong" in Wikipedia (

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