Year2018
DesignersGlobal Creatures
Photo CreditMatthew Murphy

King Kong

Broadway

Following a successful Melbourne run in 2013, King Kong made its first Broadway debut in New York City at the Broadway Theatre. As one of the original collaborators of King Kong’s Australian run, TAIT was called upon to aid in the revival of the massively, beautiful puppet known as King Kong. To achieve this, TAIT worked closely with Global Creatures the masterminds behind creating the King Kong puppet. For this show, King Kong is a 1.2-ton animatronic ape that displays incredibly natural mannerisms.

King Kong Puppet
King Kong Puppet

For King Kong to move freely, TAIT manufactured an apparatus comprised of a gantry crane and slew mechanism containing 8 high-speed BT2-290 winches complete with power diverters and four automated swing arms. Additionally, TAIT installed two BT2-390 winches at front of house allowing King Kong to lean past the proscenium arch and over/into the audience. The very complex apparatus was preprogramed to TAIT’s automation platform giving King Kong 6-degrees of freedom: up/down, left/right, backwards/forwards, roll, pitch and yaw.

King Kong Puppet
King Kong Puppet

King Kong relied on voodoo rigs, provided by Global Creatures, for facial expressions and internal body movements while TAIT’s automation platform focused on mechanically automating the puppet to react to its surroundings in real-time. With over 40 axes of motion, the integration of TAIT’s automation platform combined with Global Creatures voodoo rigs was an incredible technical achievement as it allowed for live puppeteering while retaining full range control and safety.

King Kong Puppet
King Kong Puppet