A fresh take on the Rudyard Kipling classic, The Children’s Touring Partnership have brought their theatre adaptation to The Lowry, Salford Quays.
The stunning new adaptation was written by Oliver Award Winning Jessica Swale and directed by Max Webster, with music from Joe Stilgoe.
“Being a collection of short stories, I chose two which I felt could say something inspiring about community and compassion.” Says Jessica
I wanted to convey a message about diversity, but in a light hearted and enjoyable way.”
Telling the much loved tale of Mowgli the man cub and his battle of survival, with the help of friends, Bagheera, Baloo and the wolf pack, the performance is ideal for all the family, aimed at children aged eight and above.
The adaptation is a modern take on the classic, reinvented to resonate with today’s audiences. It’s as upbeat and playful as it is mysterious and menacing, with the cast making each character their own.
Brand-new music throughout is a breath of fresh air which goes hand-in-hand with the contemporary script. The ‘Funky Monkeys’ try their hand at modern-day slang, earning lots of giggles from the audience, while Shere Khan can be seen singing about avocado on toast and veganism.
While there’s even a cheeky nod to The Lion King – Baloo starts by saying “In the jungle…” before Mowgli breaks into song “…the mighty jungle…” – you won’t be hearing any Bare Necessities (unless it’s from a couple of audience members upon leaving the theatre, like in my case). However, the original-score is the perfect addition to the modernized script which still retains elements of Kipling.
The costumes are simplistic, allowing children’s imagination to run wild. Shere Khan wears a black and orange striped jumpsuit, complete with glitter and a sparkly ‘KHAN’ on the back, while Mowgli can be seen in his classic red shorts.
An engaging and unique set was provided by The Royal & Derngate Northampton, featuring ladders, climbing frames and a revolving floor. The lighting brought the whole set together and the use of smoke and fire added to the dramatic storyline, keeping the audience captivated throughout.
The performance is an ideal mix of humour and drama while making sure to keep elements of Kipling’s classic. Clever and captivating, The Children’s Touring Partnership’s unique adaptation is one not to miss.
The Jungle book is at The Lowry from 04/05/18 until 06/05/18
Tickets: £22.50 – £24.50