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Preview: The Jungle Book at Newcastle Theatre Royal

The Jungle Book
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 27th until Saturday 31st March 2018

Rudyard Kipling’s beloved tale The Jungle Book has been brought to life in a magical musical extravaganza and will visit Newcastle Theatre Royal this week.

This exciting new production re-imagines Kipling’s famous 1894 story with a glorious  new score and script, celebrating the universal themes of family, belonging and identity.

Photo Manuel Harlan
The Jungle Book was an instant classic when it was published over a hundred years ago, a 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 the man-cub battles for survival, learns the law of the land and outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan. 

A hilarious and action-packed Jungle Book for the twenty first century, this new production features original songs by jazz legend Joe Stilgoe, and is packed with adventure, humour and magic.  It is a classic tale which will tickle the tales of all the family. 

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

Photo Manuel Harlan
Jessica Swale’s previous acclaimed play Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016, while The Lorax at the Old Vic, directed by Max Webster, was nominated for Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2016 Olivier Awards.

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 by Ruri James and  Chipo Kureya in the ensemble.

Jessica Swale said “I jumped at the chance to adapt The Jungle Book - 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”.

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

The show is produced by Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate, Northampton.  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 which have both played Newcastle Theatre Royal.

The Jungle Book is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 27th until Saturday 31st March  2018, playing evenings at 7pm, matinees on Wed 2pm and Sat 2.30pm. The show is suitable for ages 6+ Tickets from £12.00 can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at

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