Jungle Book to tour the country

Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate, Northampton have announced a new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic, “The Jungle Book”.

The production will premiere at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from Tuesday 28 November until Sunday 31 December 2017 and will then embark on a UK national tour from Thursday 25 January 2018 beginning at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Originally written in 1894, Kipling’s beloved tale will be reimagined with a brand new score and script, exploring the universal themes of family, belonging and identity.

“The Jungle Book” tells of Mowgli the man cub who battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Balloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle.

Cast includes Rachel Dawson as ‘Kaa Grey’, Lloyd Gorman as ‘Shere Khan’, TJ Holmes as   ‘Hiran’, Avita Jay as ‘Raksha’, Keziah Joseph as ‘Mowgli’, Dyfrig Morris as ‘Balloo’, Deborah Oyelade as ‘Bagheera’ and Tripti Tripuraneni as ‘Akala’. They are joined byRuri James and Chipo Kureya in the ensemble.

The award winning creative team bringing Kipling’s timeless story to the stage includes playwright Jessica Swale, director Max Webster and internationally renowned songwriter Joe Stilgoe.

Playwright Jessica Swale will be adapting the story for the stage. Her previous acclaimed play “Nell Gwynn” won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016.

Max Webster directed Dr Seuss’ “The Lorax” at the Old Vic, which was nominated for Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2016 Olivier Awards.

Jessica Swale¸ writer, said: “I jumped at the chance to adapt “The Jungle Book” because it’s such a vivid world- yet, for a writer, there’s so much opportunity to imagine the jungle afresh. Part of the book’s enduring appeal is that the jungle can be anything we choose.

“It’s a playground, a school, a hideaway, an adventure, so I’ve enjoyed exploring what sort of place this mysterious, delightful, sometimes scary place might be- and what better way to do that than with Max Webster, one of the most inventive and imaginative directors working today.

“I loved the characters as Kipling wrote them, but wanted to find new voices which resonate now- funny, bright, dynamic voices, with a little more wit, and greater diversity, in terms of place, tone, gender and culture. It’s a funny, heart-filled roller coaster of a journey which, I hope, will transport the audience right round the world and back again.”

Director, Max Webster, said: “The Jungle Book” was an instant classic when it was written over a hundred years ago with its story of Mowgli finding his path through the jungle. Each generation has re imagined this story as their own, and now Jess Swale brings it right up to date in a hilarious and action-packed version for the twenty first century.

“With wonderful songs by the jazz legend Joe Stilgoe, and packed with adventure, humour and magic this classic tale will tickle the tales of all the family. I am delighted to be working alongside Jessica, Joe, Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate to bring this vivid adaptation to the stage.”

Completing the creative team is set and costume designer Peter McKintosh, musical supervision from Paul Herbert, movement direction by Lizzi Gee, lighting design by Charles Balfour, puppetry design and direction by Nick Barnes and fight direction by Kate Waters.

Children’s Touring Partnership is led by Fiery Angel and Chichester Festival Theatre. Previous productions include the award winning West End and UK tour production of “Goodnight Mister Tom” and most recently the UK touring production of Michael Morpurgo’s “Running Wild”.

Dates:

November 28 to December 31 – Northampton, Royal & Derngate https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

January 25 to February 3 Chichester Festival Theatre https://www.cft.org.uk/

February 6 to 10 2018 – Richmond Theatre https://www.atgtickets.com/richmond

February 13 to 17 – Liverpool Playhouse https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/

February 20 to 24 – Wycombe Swan https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/

February 27 to March 4 – Bromley Churchill Theatre https://churchilltheatre.co.uk/Online/

March 13 to 17 – Malvern Festival Theatre http://www.malvern-theatres.co.uk/

March 20 to 24 – Cambridge Arts Theatre https://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com/

March 27 to 31 – Newcastle Theatre Royal https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on

April 3 to 7 – Plymouth Theatre Royal https://www.theatreroyal.com/

April 10 to 14 – Norwich Theatre Royal https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/

April 17 to 21 – Nottingham Theatre Royal https://trch.co.uk/

April 25 to 28 – Canterbury Marlowe Theatre https://marlowetheatre.com/

May 2 to 6 – Salford, Lowry Theatre https://www.thelowry.com/events

May 8 to 12 – Blackpool Grand Theatre https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

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