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West Street, London WC2H 9ND

Kunene and the King Poster

Kunene and the King

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Closed March 28, 2020

Apartheid drama lit up by two veterans of the stage

The Telegraph

Why See Kunene and the King?


A Poignant Exploration Of Race & Division

Following a triumphant world premiere in Cape Town, South Africa and an equally triumphant debut at Stratford-upon-Avon's Swan Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Kunene and the King enjoys a West End transfer in early 2020. Marking the 25th anniversary of the abolishment of Apartheid, the strictly limited run at the Ambassadors Theatre shines a light on the writing and acting talents of celebrated activist and playwright John Kani, a frequent collaborator of protest playwright Athol Fugard. 

Set in present day South Africa, two men from radically different backgrounds come together in an extraordinary way. Two-time Olivier Award-winning actor Anthony Sher portrays Jack Morris, a classical actor at a cross roads - just as he's been given the role of a lifetime, he's also received a severe cancer diagnosis. Enter Kani's Lunga Kunene, a black carer and at-home-nurse. Their very different experiences of life pre and post Apartheid at first collide, but as old antagonisms fall away they are united by a passion for Shakespeare and similar relationships with their families. 

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Additional Information


Opening night: 24 January 2020

What we thought

Striking playful TOUCHING

Janice Honeyman direction allows each of these acting greats enough space for their performances to shine rather than compete with each other

Set in Post Apartheid South Africa, the RSC's Kunene And The King toys with notions of identity, belonging and guilt, set against the backdrop of mortality and, well, Shakespeare.

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Wendy Fynn

Wendy Fynn

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