Jungle Book adaptation premieres in Northampton

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

Pinter play’s 60th birthday

Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre 60 years after the play’s debut. The play will star Toby Jones

(Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Zoë Wanamaker (Mr Selfridge, Harry Potter) and Stephen Mangan (Green Wing, Billy Elliot). Stanley Webber (Jones) is the only lodger at Meg (Wanamaker) and Petey Boles’ sleepy seaside boarding house. The unsettling arrival of enigmatic strangers Goldberg (Mangan) and McCann disrupts the humdrum lives of the inhabitants and their friend Lulu when a seemingly innocent birthday party turns into a disturbing nightmare. The play has a limited run from January 9 to April 14, 2018.

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. 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, and learns the law of the jungle. 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.

“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.”

Playwright Jessica Swale Cast announced for Shrek the Musical tour

A major tour of Shrek the Musical will open at Edinburgh Playhouse on December 12, 2017. The production will then visit Manchester, Sunderland, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Northampton, Cardiff, Stoke, Blackpool, Woking, Liverpool, Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Llandudno, Leeds, Norwich, Nottingham, Belfast, Dublin, Plymouth and Southampton. Shrek will be played by Steffan Harri, who previously starred in the original UK tour, with Call the Midwife star Laura Main as Princess Fiona. Due to filming commitments, Main will be

22 TravelGBI | October 2017

performing at selected venues. Marcus Ayton is cast as Shrek’s sidekick, Donkey, and Samuel Holmes as Lord Farquaad. Co-producer Caro Newling, of

Neal Street Productions, said: “Since Shrek the Musical’s West End debut in 2011 we have opened our doors to nearly two million audience members nationwide.” Nigel Harman will return as

director, having made his directorial debut on the musical’s first tour. The show is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animations film.

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