Since June 15, the Regent Theatre has been playing host to King Kong, a musical based on the story of the world’s most famous silverback gorilla.
This colossal primate has been amazing and terrifying audiences since the 1930s through various media – films, video games, comic books and now a record-breaking musical.
King Kong’s premiere was attended by an estimated 50,000 people from around the country.
The musical’s organisers have said it will only be performed in Melbourne before it heads overseas, due to the “enormity of the production” and the “the major structural changes” that were made to the Regent Theatre in order to house it.
So, your only chance to see King Kong is by organising a flight to the melting pot and organise your Melbourne Airport car hire with us!
If you’re not familiar with the story of King Kong, it basically follows a group of people – Ann Darrow, Carl Denham and Jack Driscoll – who travel from New York to the remote Skull Island and encounter the massive gorilla.
You will get to relive this experience – quite literally – in the Regent Theatre, as a six-metre-tall, 1-tonne silverback gorilla has been created to be the star of the show.
King Kong was manufactured using NASA-like technology, and is operated by 10 on-stage puppeteers and 3 off-stage controllers.
He moves about the stage on a 30-tonne rig and is accompanied by a talented cast of 50 actors, dancers, singers and circus performers.
The latter group were recruited from the National Institute of Circus Arts, which is also located in Melbourne.
A real highlight of the production – besides the huge gorilla, of course – will be the music.
This is the result of a collaborative effort between many composers, and was led by Marius de Vries, who has a BAFTA under his belt and worked with Baz Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet.
If an audience with King Kong whets your appetite for more gorilla-centric entertainment, Melbourne is more than equipped to satisfy.
Why not, for instance, book a table at The Pink Gorilla for before the show? It’s only open from 7am to 4pm, so it’s a great place to grab a big lunch and prepare to meet King Kong!
This cafe can be found on 347 King Street, which is about a 10-minute drive from the Regent Theatre, so it’s perfectly placed to begin your gorilla-themed evening. Its location even has the word ‘King’ in it – is that a coincidence? We don’t think so!
Surprisingly, this isn’t the only eatery in Melbourne with that has associations with the word “gorilla”. Should The Pink Gorilla not tickle your fancy, there’s always John Gorilla, which is located on 49 Pearson Street, Brunswick West.
This is about a 20-minute drive in your rental car from Melbourne to the Regent Theatre, so it might make sense to head here after the show instead of before. John Gorilla is renowned for its tea, sandwiches and sweet treats.
If you’re staying in town for a while, you could always visit the Melbourne Zoo and see some real gorillas! This institution is one of only 150 world-wide that has breeding program in place to protect these critically endangered giants.
Rigo, Melbourne Zoo’s oldest silverback gorilla, died earlier this year, but you can still visit Yuska, G-Anne, Julia, Johari and Mbeli.
You can compare five gorillas to their colossal on-stage counterpart and see just how great a job the creators of King Kong actually did!
As you can see, Melbourne is one of the best places in the world to have some gorilla-themed fun. So, hop in and enjoy your car rental Melbourne wide!