The Avalanches, Justice Score Epic King Kong Musical
After it’s first original release in 1933, the world’s most famous colossal gorilla King Kong is set to hit Australia with the most ambitious theatrical event of the decade officially unveiled this week in a media launch beamed live around the world, a whole eight months ahead of its June 2013 season.
The infamous story is set to be told better than ever before with incredible set design and an unimaginable ape. Just like the production’s remarkable design, the sound production is set to include a line-up of notorious musical contributors from various parts of the world.
Led by Australia’s own mash-up luminaries The Avalanches, the list includes French electronic duo Justice, Robert del Naja of Massive Attack, Elbow’s barstool poet frontman Guy Garvey and Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan.
“We had a vision for a score that would travel through genre and time in a way that’s contemporary and, I hope, redefining,” said Carmen Pavlovic, boss of production company Global Creatures, the same Australian group who staged the arena-sized Walking With Dinosaurs.
King Kong will feature the talents of English composer and producer Marius De Vries, who has worked on albums by Rufus Wainwright and David Gray.
De Vries is the musical maestro who has brought the fantastic selection of artists together for the performance, drawing on his experience working on Baz Luhrmann’s equally ambitious filmic productions like Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!
Interestingly, the Victorian Government is also helping put on the lavish production, throwing its weight behind King Kong’s world premiere at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre on June 13 2013, though in what capacity is yet unclear.
Speaking of the elaborate theatrical experience – that’s been five years in the making, Pavlovic explains: “The entire production has been conceived on a grand scale, combining puppetry, circus, projections and an amazing orchestral score. Our ambition ultimately is to roll this production out around the world. But first, Australia!”
The Australian theatre production will also feature an all Australian cast including Richard Piper, Adam Lyon, Esther Hannaford, Queeny Van De Zandt & Chris Ryan as well as being the largest, most expensive and most elaborate theatrical piece to debut down under in over a decade.
You can view a performance of some of the songs showcased at last weekend’s King Kong media launch – including the Robert Del Naja-penned “Colossus” and Marius De Vries’ “Full Moon Lullaby” – in a stream over at the theatrical production’s website: http://kingkongliveonstage.com
The role of a soundtrack in the critical and commercial success of a movie is one that's often overlooked. While some outstanding films have iconic soundtracks that are just as good as the movies themselves and will stand the test of time (see: The Graduate, Saturday Night Fever, Grease et al) there's a disconnect that can take place when the music that's meant to be enhancing the film, outshines it. We take a look back at some examples of soundtracks that are better than the movies they're from. Lights. Camera. Action! Watch this slideshow »