The producers of the Fugard Theatre's production of the legendary South African musical King Kong have embarked on a nationwide talent search for King Kong’s leading lady - Back of the Moon Shebeen Queen Joyce.

The role which shot Miriam Makeba to international fame in the first King Kong, as it did the careers of others in the production such as Hugh Masekela.

The 1959 original production of South Africa's first black musical was set in the late-fifties apartheid era. King Kong toured South Africa, and was seen by 200,000 South Africans, before transferring to London’s West End for a 200-performance run.

More about the theatre production:

King Kong – The Musical portrays the life and times of heavyweight boxer Ezekiel Dlamini whose self-appointed ring name was "King Kong".
Born in 1921, after a meteoric boxing rise, his life degenerated into drunkenness and gang violence. He became a classic Greek tragic figure when in 1957, in a fit of jealousy; he killed his girlfriend and at his trial asked for the death sentence to serve as a warning to others. Instead, the white judge, refusing to take instruction from a black defendant, sentenced him to fourteen years of hard labour. Three months later King Kong was found drowned in a dam on a prison farm. At 36 years old King Kong had taken his destiny into his own hands and, inadvertently, become a legend.

More about the character that is being cast:

“Joyce is the feisty, flirtatious, beautiful shebeen queen of Back of the Moon, who knows how to work the room with her patrons,”says Daniel Galloway, Executive Director of the Fugard Theatre who is co-producing King Kong with producer Eric Abraham. “Her songs include the legendary Back of the Moon and Quickly in Love, which have become popular South African favourites, captured with Ms. Makeba’s unique voice on the original cast recording.”

“We are now looking for our very own Star to play the role of Joyce in our 2017 production of King Kong which has its premiere at the Fugard on 2 August. We are looking for someone who has a powerhouse voice, sensational stage presence, compelling acting talent and that extra special star quality. If you fit the bill, can dance, play late 20’s to mid 30’s and are soprano to High F5, get in touch, this is the role of a lifetime!,” said Galloway.
Listen to Back of the Moon, here:

How to put your name forward to play Joyce:
The producers are asking candidates to send in via e-mail a full body self-tape video of them singing Back of the Moon in one of two offered keys (the guide music and score can be downloaded here) to [email protected] - please attach a short CV no longer than one page.

Event information about King Kong – The Musical

King Kong – The Musical will run from Tuesday, 25 July until Saturday, 2 September at the Fugard Theatre, Cape Town, before transferring to the Joburg Theatre from Tuesday, 12 September to Sunday, 8 October 2017.

Bookings can be made through Computicket.