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About the showPlease note that remaining performances of Kunene and the King have been cancelled following government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).
25 years after South African apartheid ended, John Kani and Antony Sher bring an unlikely friendship to the stage in Kunene and the King. The one-act play set in modern-day Johannesburg is set to run at the Ambassadors Theatre.
2019 in South Africa, and terminally ill actor Jack has been offered the ultimate role: King Lear. With his health in decline and a new at-home nurse called Lunga Kunene arriving, Jack is determined to perform his final leading role no matter what. Jack and Lunga, initially at odds, seem to have nothing in common – until a shared love of Shakespeare comes to light.
John Kani plays Lunga Kunene, as well as writing the play for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Fugard Theatre. He is best known to wider audiences for his roles in recent blockbusters Black Panther and The Lion King.
Antony Sher co-stars as Jack. Sher is an Olivier Award winning actor who has appeared in Henry IV, King Lear and Death of a Salesman.
Kunene and the King is directed by Janice Honeyman, with set design from Birrie Le Roux, lighting designer Mannie Manim and sound designer Jonathan Ruddick. The play will also feature live music from Anna Mudeka.
After receiving acclaim in Stratford and South Africa, Kunene and the King brings together a powerhouse pair of actors to tackle one of modern history’s definitive moments. Kunene and the King at the Ambassadors Theatre opens on 24 January 2020.