Set model for <i>King Kong</i>
Set model for King Kong
(© Peter England)
Initial casting has been announced for the Australian stage premiere of the new musical King Kong, to open on June 15, 2013 at Melbourne's Regent Theatre. The production will be directed by Daniel Kramer, and features a book by award-winning American playwright Craig Lucas.

Inspired by the novella of the original film by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace, King Kong will feature a cast of 49 actors, singers, dancers, circus performers, and puppeteers.

The principal cast will feature Esther Hannaford (Ann Darrow), Adam Lyon (Carl Denham), Chris Ryan (Jack Driscoll), Richard Piper (Captain Engelhorn), and Queenie van de Zandt (Cassandra).

Composer Marius de Vries will oversee the musical score, which will include classic songs from the 1930s including "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," as well as new and existing songs by artists including Sara McLachlan, Robert Del Naja, Justice, and Guy Garvey.

In addition, Stephen Pavlovic will collaborate on the show's "musical landscape," with Michael Mitnick contributing lyrics to several new songs.

The creative team also includes John O'Connell (choreography), Peter England (production design), Roger Kirk (costume design), Peter Mumford (lighting design), Sonny Tilders (creature design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Frieder Weiss (projection design), Gavin Roberts (aerial and circus design), and Peter Wilson (puppetry director).

Click here for more information and to watch a video of the musical's official launch.