Blackpool to stage King Kong 'reimagining'
Blackpool is to stage a "reimagining" of the King Kong story, thanks to a £680,000 Arts Council grant.
The funding will see the town's Grand Theatre produce the work about the giant gorilla in 2017, using "multiple art forms in a variety of locations".
A theatre spokesman said a "surprise" show for a "secret and fantastical site" was also planned for this year.
Chief executive Ruth Eastwood said the works would celebrate "the uniqueness of this amazing town".
The theatre was given the funding after applying to the council's Ambition For Excellence fund, which is aimed at "stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England".
'Vote of confidence'
The spokesman said the productions would "involve artists of international standing as well as local talent" and be created in conjunction with local arts company LeftCoast.
He added that exact locations for the production had yet to be confirmed.
LeftCoast artistic director Michael Trainor said the award was "a huge vote of confidence in Blackpool's creative community and will bring the very highest quality creative experiences to the amazing locations".
- King Kong first appeared in a 1933 film which saw the giant gorilla captured on a tropical island and brought back to New York, where he famously climbed the Empire State Building
- The character's story has been retold several times since, including by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson in 2005 and by Hollywood stars Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange in 1976
- The character has appeared in several other films, such as the 1962 Japanese outing King Kong vs Godzilla and the 1986 horror flick King Kong Lives
- The simian monster also starred in a 1960s' cartoon series and inspired a 1992 episode of The Simpsons
The "surprise" show, due to be staged later this year, will be created with help from theatre company Dreamthinkspeak, which has created several works for the Brighton Festival and for Liverpool's City of Culture programme in 2008.
Artistic director Tristan Sharps said he had been "dreaming about this project for the last two years" and was "really looking forward to creating a show for a secret and fantastical site at the heart of the town".
"I'm really excited to explore and discover how the project will adapt and develop in response to this remarkable town's past, present and future," he added.