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The Jungle Book
March 13th - March 17th
A Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production of
THE JUNGLE BOOK
By Jessica Swale
Based on the stories by Rudyard Kipling
Directed by Max Webster
An exciting new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic, The Jungle Book, comes to life in this colourful new show brought to you by the team behind Goodnight Mister Tom and Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild.
Loved as a wild and fun tale of family, belonging and identity, this production is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling.
Mowgli the man cub battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a child raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle.
This unforgettable musical adventure is adapted by the Olivier award-winning Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn), features live music on stage created by Joe Stilgoe and is directed by Max Webster (The Lorax, The Old Vic).
Suitable for 6+
“Fresh, ambitious and inventive” The Times
“Beguiling, thrilling and witty.”
“Jessica Swale’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s short stories had us all enraptured from the get go.”
“Younger audience members will simply delight in the gripping story, catchy tunes and farting monkeys.”
“This adaptation ensures it is relevant and powerful, with something for audience members of all ages to enjoy.” Northampton Chronicle
“Fresh and fun”
“Big show entertainment”
“This scores as a good family night out” NeNe Quirer
“a bold, clever and still very relevant production”
“bright, bold and fun“
“simply dazzling” Asmallmindatthetheatre
“If you’re looking for a show to take all the family to, this really hits the spot.” Broadway World
Thursday 15th March, 12:30-1:15pm
A fabulous opportunity to get the beat for the jungle. Learn the rhythms of the stage with The Jungle Book’s on-stage musician in the FREE workshop.
To book your place please call the Box Office 01684 892277 or for more information contact Bridget, Head of Engagement and Creative Learning – email@example.com
Production Photos by Manuel Harlan
Ticket price includes a £1 contribution to our heritage fund.
Choice Radio Worcester
Malvern goes all animal this week with a very modern interpretation of Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book, more than 120 years since it was written. Forget the version most of us know - the one presented by Disney - and instead enjoy a live action musical version of the story of the mancub Mowgli brought up by his various animal peers, a situation which rather neatly coincides with today's issues of diversity and inclusivity. It is, after all, a jungle out there.
Jessica Swale, who wrote the script, effortlessly presents these themes within a story which is already familiar and makes it accessible to the younger audience by using up to date terminology - and jokes - to make the characters not seem stuck in the past. This is achieved by Joe Stilgoe's excellent new score which mushroomed from the original brief to write four songs (the show was not originally destined to be a full musical) to a full complement of twelve throughout the whole evening with the added benefit of the excellent band - and sometimes the animals - playing the music. Yet there is more than a nod to the well-known Disney soundtrack in some of the songs which pleasingly make them seem almost familiar.
Part live action, part puppetry, the show begins - and ends - as a bedtime story which magically transforms itself into a jungle full of friendly creatures as well as perilous ones. Shere Khan is the arch villain here, Lloyd Gorman's booming voice and impressive tiger suit making it clear that he takes no prisoners and is the one to be watched at all times, particularly once he has decided that the young mancub will be his to devour once he is older and fit for a chase to the death. On a lighter note, the threat is counterbalanced by the much-loved Balloo, beautifully played by Dyfrin Morris as a gentle, well-meaning - and very Welsh! - thirsty and hungry buffoon who is Mowgli's one true friend. And let's not forget Mowgli - Keziah Joseph plays Mowgli as a child who is neither male nor female (though Keziah is herself female), believably characterising an impish kid which will resonate with many of the youngsters in the audience. Other stand out characters are the cheeky monkeys who terrorise the audience - in a friendly way of course - Bagheera the panther (Deborak Oyelade, sleek, black and powerful, the doomed Akela (Tripti Tripuraneni) and the wonderful much larger than life snake Kaa (part puppetry and part Rachel Dawson).
All the much-loved characters are there in this new colourful and energetic version which joyously brings to life the original story in a way which will certainly not leave those who know only Disney's version disappointed. Stilgoe's superb score and the dance/fight sequences effectively portray life in the jungle on the revolving stage without making it too specific to a time or place and the use of the talented multi-national cast adds to the feeling that this is indeed a story which could have happened 100 years ago or yesterday.
Judging by the number of children in the audience (and a reminder here that the shows starts a little earlier than usual at 7pm for their benefit), it will deservedly be a firm favourite with families on tour and, for many kids, a memorable introduction to live theatre where animals can do amazing things in front of their very eyes. And make them laugh too.
The programme which accompanies the show gives lots of useful background to the characters and the book itself and there is a lot more fascination information on the company's website: www.junglebooklive.co.uk