Rotorua man set to star in big King Kong production

By Kristin Macfarlane

Former Rotorua man Travis Khan has been announced as one of the cast members of an Australian musical theatre show capturing attention around the world.

Khan, who was born and raised in Rotorua and only left to attend university when he was 20, is a dancer in the Australian-based musical theatre show King Kong which will open on June 15.

The show will feature 49 actors, singers, dancers, circus performers and puppeteers and Global Creatures chief executive Carmen Pavlovic said finding the right crew for the epic music theatre had been a lengthy process.

"We've been scouring the country since February 2011 for our cast and I am thrilled we can reveal the all-Australian company that will join our principal cast, international creative and music team to bring King Kong to life."

King Kong would be exclusive to Melbourne and its director Daniel Kramer said audiences should prepare for a major event.

"Audiences should brace themselves; not only does our cast dance and sing and act, but they fly, flip and fall through the air looking darn gorgeous in the process.

"Never before have I had the privilege of working with such a group of world-class entertainers."

Khan, who still has plenty of friends and family in Rotorua, started dancing at the age of 20 and professionally in 2005.

He had been involved with seven musical theatre shows before King Kong, which had included working on the Lion King for two years with former Rotorua man Turanga Merito. He was also involved in West Side Story with Merito.

Khan was very excited to have been cast for King Kong because he said it was his first time being part of a show from the beginning, being created from scratch.

As well as a dancer in the show he said he was also a cover for one of The Kings Men, which meant not only did he need to learn his part, he had to learn the part of a Kings Man too. Khan said because of the size of King Kong, logistically it was unlikely the show would tour overseas so he encouraged anyone wanting to see it to book in for the Melbourne-based show.

Although he had planned to get back to Rotorua as soon as he could, he had to be happy he was working too much to be able to get home.

King Kong opens on June 15 at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne. Ticket prices range between $60 and $129 and are available through Ticketmaster.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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