King Kong: The 1 Ton Puppet – Live On Stage

Photo by Jeff Busby

Eat your heart out Sesame Street, KING KONG is back and live on stage! Photo by Jeff Busby.

King Kong from the original 1933 film, battles aeroplanes on the Empire State Building. Image from Wikipedia

King Kong from the original 1933 film, battles aeroplanes on the Empire State Building. Image from Wikipedia.

5 years in the making and based on the original 1933 screenplay, King Kong – the musical has hit the stage in Australia marking the 80th Anniversary of the Merian C. Cooper KING KONG movie.

The 76 man crew behind the musical consists of an array of highly credited, award winning directors, producers, choreographers, production designers, composers and animatronic specialists from across the globe as well as 50 actors, singers, dancers, circus performers and puppeteers.

3D Computer Model of Kong - Global Creatures

3D Computer Model of Kong – Global Creatures

King Kong is part marionette, animatronic and puppet with 985 feet of electrical cable, 1500 connections and 16 microprocessors inside.
Made entirely at the Global Creatures West Melbourne workshop, where also the creatures of “Walking With Dinosaurs” and “How To Train Your Dragon” were made, Kong’s facial expressions are delivered by 15 industrial servo motors and 2 hydraulic cylinders, all controlled in real-time by an off-stage voodoo puppet operator.

Credit -  Global Creatures

Credit – Global Creatures

Normally reserved for high-end film animatronics and never been seen on stage before, the puppeteer has complete control over Kong’s eyebrows, nose, upper and lower lips, jaw, corners of the mouth and upper and lower eyelids.

First Image of King Kong at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Australia. Photo by James Morgan.

First Image of King Kong at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne, Australia. Photo by James Morgan.

As well as the animatronic core, Kong is operated on stage by 11 “Kings Men” who are all circus artists specially trained in puppetry.

The aesthetics of Kong changed many times and two full sized prototypes were made before finalizing on Kong’s current sculptural look.

This truly is an amazing production and a once in a lifetime experience! Due to its enormous size, King Kong The Musical will only be performed at the Regent Theater in Melbourne, Australia. For now…

Make sure to check back in with BTS Hub periodically to get the latest info on King Kong the musical, we’ll be waiting “in the wings” to find out when this production visits the U.S.

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