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Kunene and the King Tickets

Actor and activist John Kani’s new play Kunene and the King receives a West End transfer after premiering in Stratford-upon-Avon. Catch this commemoration of the end of apartheid in South Africa when it opens at the Ambassadors Theatre on 24 January 2020.

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.

Sorry this show closed 28 March 2020, we recommend these similar productions.

Performance dates:
27 Mar 2020 - 28 Mar 2020
Running time:
1 hour and 35 minutes.
Ambassadors Theatre (See map)
Age recommendation:
Recommended 12+
Audience Notes:
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.

Latest Audience Reviews

Both characters discuss their professional standing, culture & political views. Terrific performa... More

rachelgreene's avatar
rachelgreene Top 100 reviewer 15 Mar 2020

Really enjoyed this show! Very well written and performed. It is very heartwarming at times but w... More

sarahwells1's avatar
sarahwells1 31 Jan 2020

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

margaretgravelle's avatar
margaretgravelle 16 Mar 2020
kathleens8's avatar
kathleens8 08 Mar 2020

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

terenceb1's avatar
terenceb1 02 Feb 2020

Great story and super acting

kwarnock7's avatar
kwarnock7 Top 100 reviewer 25 Jan 2020
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