New Jungle Book adaptation to premiere in Northampton

Playwright Jessica Swale, director Max Webster and songwriter Joe Stilgoe have announced a new stage adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate co-production will premiere in Northampton (November 28-December 31) before embarking on a UK tour from January 25, 2018, beginning at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Originally written in 1894, Kipling’s tale is being reimagined with a new score and script, telling the story of Mowgli the man cub, raised by wolves in the jungle.

With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan.

Swale said: “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.”

Director Webster added: “Jess Swale brings it right up to date in an hilarious and action-packed version for the 21st century…with wonderful songs by the jazz legend Joe Stilgoe, and packed with adventure, humour and magic.”

After Chichester, the tour moves to Richmond, Liverpool, Wycombe, Bromley, Malvern, Cambridge, Newcastle, Plymouth, Norwich, Nottingham, Canterbury, Salford and Blackpool.