West Street, London, WC2H 9ND GB This show is now closed.
This show is now closed.
66% off
Kunene and the King

Kunene and the King Tickets

4.5/5 - based on 4 reviews
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About Kunene and the King

Performance Times
Mon - 19:30
Tue - 19:30
Wed 15:00 19:30
Thu - 19:30
Fri - 19:30
Sat 15:00 19:30
Sun - -

Kunene and the King description

Kunene and the King – Adult themes and upsetting scenes

Welcome to Kunene and the King. This play was written to explore the quarter of a century of change we've seen following South Africa's first post-apartheid democratic elections 25 years ago. The play's wider aim is to question whether racism has ended simply because the apartheid has gone, and you can probably already guess the answer: no, it hasn't.

The piece also explores difficult themes like terminal illness and alcoholism as the story follows the famous actor Jack Morris. He's about to play King Lear in a Cape Town production, but at the same time he is battling Stage Four liver cancer with his ageing carer and nurse, Lunga Kunene, by his side.

The year is 2019 and the two elderly men, who come from completely different walks of life, are thrown together to reflect on the changes the country has seen. The play's directed by Janice Honeyman and Jack Morris is played by Antony Sher, portraying a white South African classical actor who's loved for his excellent Shakespearian roles. Having been offered the tile role in King Lear he accepts, then discovers his illness. Refusing to remain in hospital he discharges himself. Lunga Kunene, a black South African carer played by the brilliant John Kani, accompanies him home.

Once there, the old men reflect on the politics of their nation in very different ways, according to their different experiences and cultures. And there are discussions about Shakespeare too, scenes where the men come closer to each other than at any other time. This really is a piece packed with contrast and conflict, which run through the entire play like a thread. At the start you'd be forgiven for thinking the men have nothing in common except their age. But their shared love for The Bard's work ignites what The Times calls a ‘rich, raw and shattering head-to-head’.

This momentous piece of theatre comes from the pen of the South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani, whose work on Black Panther, The Island, and Sizwe Banzi is Dead have set an excellent reputation in stone. Despite all the angst and rawness this also happens to be a refreshingly funny play. It proved a smash hit at its premier at Stratford Upon Avon's Swan Theatre. And it's been described by The Guardian as a 'poignant two-hander that illuminates post-apartheid South Africa', adding that 'John Kani beautifully captures the complex divides of race, class and politics in a remarkable and moving new play'.

The venue? Head for the magnificent Ambassadors theatre.

Who is this show for?
This show uses strobe lighting. There's strong language, and some scenes that audiences may find upsetting. This isn't a play for young children. Kunene and the King is recommended for people aged 12 or more.

Kunene and the King cheap tickets

We have a great selection of cheap Kunene and the King tickets. We can help you save up to 70% on Kunene and the King tickets! If you're looking for discount theatre tickets have a look below for our latest offers for Kunene and the King at the Ambassadors Theatre.

-66%
Was £59.50 Now £20.00

Valid Mon & Tuesday performances until 24 Mar 20

-53%
Was £42.50 Now £20.00

Valid Mon & Tues performances until 24 Mar 20

-50%
Was £59.50 Now £30.00

Valid Wed & Thurs performances until 24 Mar 20

-29%
Was £42.50 Now £30.00

Valid Weds & Thurs performances until 24 Mar 20

-33%
Was £59.50 Now £40.00

Valid Fri & Sat performances until 24 Mar 20.

-6%
Was £42.50 Now £40.00

Valid Fri & Sat performances until 24 Mar 20.

Kunene and the King reviews

4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews

What to expect:

Acting
Music
Costumes
Story
Lighting

Recommended for:

Anyone (75%)
Families (75%)
Teenagers (75%)
Couples (75%)
Theatregoers (100%)
Latest customer reviews
Philip

Well acted. Great singer

Reviewed on 14 February 2020 by , Esher, United Kingdom

Audley
A must see

It tackles difficult themes of race and exploitation. Could make you feel uncomfortable

Reviewed on 26 January 2020 by , Stevenage, United Kingdom

isa
Fascinating theme

Reviewed on 24 January 2020 by , Brookline, United States Of America

Gennaro

interesting, very well acted, the role of king Lear is the best part

Reviewed on 24 January 2020 by , Brookline, United States Of America

05 Feb
2020
Miriam Gibson

Review: KUNENE AND THE KING at The Ambassadors Theatre

by Miriam Gibson | Wednesday, February 5 2020, 07:35

In contemporary South Africa, Jack Morris is an aging alcoholic actor, recently diagnosed with liver cancer. He's dying, but determined to stay alive long enough to star in King Lear. Lunga Kunene is the professional nurse sent to care for him. Jack is white. Kunene is black.

John Kani as Lunga Kunene and Antony Sher as Jack Morris in Kunene and the King. Photo by Ellie KurttzJohn Kani as Lunga Kunene and Antony Sher as Jack Morris in Kunene and the King. Photo by Ellie Kurttz. © RSC

Review: KUNENE AND THE KING at The Ambassadors Theatre
30 Jan
2020
Monty Leigh

Review: KUNENE AND THE KING at The Ambassadors Theatre

by Monty Leigh | Thursday, January 30 2020, 10:08

Kunene and the King Set in South Africa, 2019, 25 years since the first post-apartheid elections, this comedy/drama revolves around the relationship between two men from very different walks of life attempting to happily co-exist in a carer/patient dynamic, despite their opposing viewpoints.

Review: KUNENE AND THE KING at The Ambassadors Theatre