Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Jungle Book: Offering more than bare necessities

Jungle Book

The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Until August 14, various times

Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, first published as a series of magazine stories in 1893, has seen Mowgli progress from a junior version of the noble savage to a groovy young guy hanging out with just about the coolest set of creatures Walt Disney ever put on screen.

Now you and your family can enjoy an |energetic stage version of the film — and book — at the Lyric Theatre.

Neil Duffield has adapted the original story about learning from the natural world and musical director Conor Mitchell has added some new material.

As the original has it: ‘These are the laws of the jungle let them be your guide. Remember the laws of the jungle and survive.’

Join lost boy Mowgli (Tony Hasnath) in a story that has touched the hearts of generations. The Jungle Book transports audiences to a colourful and spectacular land with fire dancers, cheeky monkeys, wolves and awe-inspiring creatures including the Queen of Cobras (Charlotte McCurry).

Of course, we don’t want to be like all the animals. The fiercest predator of them all, Shere Khan the tiger (Pete Ashmore), has sworn to kill man-cub Mowgli. However, helped by loyal friends Baloo (Gerard McCable) the bear and Bagheera the panther (Sioned Saunders), Mowgli sets off on an adventure to discover the secret of fire — or man’s red flower as he puts it — and fight off his arch enemy, only to discover he no longer fits in with jungle or village life.

Faithful to Kipling’s original, this nicely staged adaptation features some brand new songs to add to classics such as I’m the King of the Jungle and The Bare Necessities. The Stage described this production as ‘mesmerising’ — prepared to be beguiled.

For tickets, go to www.lyrictheatre.co.uk.

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