Kunene and the King at Ambassadors Theatre tickets
Kunene and the King at Ambassadors Theatre tickets

Kunene and the King has closed

This show has closed

About the show

Please note that remaining performances of Kunene and the King have been cancelled following government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

The end of apartheid in South Africa is commemorated in new play Kunene and the King, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre. Starring Antony Sher and John Kani, this compelling two-hander about racism, friendship and freedom transfers to the Ambassadors Theatre.

Set in 2019, the play follows ageing white actor Jack Morris and live-in black nurse Lunga Kunene. Jack has recently been offered the towering part of King Lear, but a cancer diagnosis is threatening this role of a lifetime.

As the pair discover a shared passion for Shakespeare and Jack is forced to confront the legacy of racism in the country he calls home, Kunene and the King is a rich, affectionate and powerful play enhanced with on-stage music by Zimbabwean-British musician and vocalist, Anna Mudeka.

John Kani (Lunga) both writes and stars in Kunene and the King. An actor, writer and activist, Kani has appeared in Black Panther on the big screen and co-wrote anti-apartheid play Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, which also ran at the Ambassadors Theatre.

Antony Sher (Jack) is an Olivier Award winning actor with credits including King Lear, Death of a Salesman and Broken Glass.

With both actors hailing from South Africa, Kunene and the King is also directed by a South African creative, Janice Honeyman. Other creatives include designer Birrie Le Roux, lighting designer Mannie Manim and sound designer Jonathan Ruddick.

Described by critics as “a remarkable and moving new play” (The Guardian), catch Kunene and the King at the Ambassadors Theatre from 24 January 2020.

Recommended for

Fans of Antony Sher’s powerhouse performances as Falstaff and King Lear should secure tickets to his latest collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The play is also perfect for anyone wanting to commemorate the end of apartheid and its on-going legacy.

Age Recommendations: Recommended 12+

Dates and times

Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes (no interval)
Opened: 24 Jan 2020
Press night: 29 Jan 2020
Booking from: 27 Mar 2020
Booking until: 28 Mar 2020

Seating plan

For detailed seating information for Kunene and the King, please check out our interactive Ambassadors Theatre seating plan with 997 seat reviews and 558 photos of views from seat.

Location and map

Ambassadors Theatre
West Street
London, WC2H 9ND

41 Reviews Add review

Both characters discuss their professional standing, culture & political views. Terrific performances! Engaging & powerful.

rachelgreene 109 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Really enjoyed this show! Very well written and performed. It is very heartwarming at times but with a lot of truth and anger.

sarahwells1 5”4, 72 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Powerful two-hander set in South Africa and raising many issues, as one might expect, about apartheid and its repercussions. Excellent... More

margaretgravelle 1 review, 0 helpful votes

kathleens8 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Probably the best play, of many, my wife and I have seen in the past year. Both actors superb and singer added a very successful... More

terenceb1 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Great story and super acting

kwarnock7 5'4, 189 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Moving show.

palelylaura 5'10", 166 reviews, 11 helpful votes

Absolutely brilliant. Phenomenal acting. Deeply moving, witty - I thought this was to Cape Town what Small Island was to Jamaica. More

mandyb8 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Excellent play, incredible acting, I really enjoyed the play. No interval which I prefer, had there been an interval this would have... More

johannadavid 18 reviews, 0 helpful votes