Form I e4 outing to watch the Joburg Theatre production of King Kong

King Kong is an iconic, quintessentially South African musical which was first performed in Johannesburg in 1959. The musical tells the true story of the life and times of Ezekiel Dhlamini, a heavyweight boxer who lived in Soweto and was known as “King Kong”. It went on to be an enormous international success in the United Kingdom and United States, boosting many musical careers including those of Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. As the first all-black musical, it also represents a lesser-told and lesser-celebrated story for South Africans.

A key aspect of innovation at St Mary’s is the integrated approach to learning. This means that themes and concepts are investigated comprehensively, marking a move away from silo-based learning and affording our girls a broader and deeper understanding and appreciation of academic topics. As importantly, our approach to teaching and learning aims to create an experience for the pupils, making learning more meaningful and interesting, and engendering a sense of empathy and connectedness.

Over the course of the year in e4, we have been exploring the “full” story of Johannesburg, including many of the issues that the production King Kong brings to life. The desired impact of this experience is that the girls will be immersed in the cultural, political and economic climate of the day, and be able to extrapolate links to the modern day Jo’burg in which they live. Through this imaginative and creative journey, a greater sense of empathy and compassion is encouraged, while the girls tap their feet to the incredible music that deed history and is still enjoyed today.

Jane McMurray, Michael Watt and Clare Searle