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November 2004
Review: Jungle Book @ The Old Rep
Reviewed by Peter Plisner
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book
Peter Plisner went to see the stage reworking of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book by The Birmingham Stage Company. The show runs until 29 January 2005.
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The Old Rep Theatre
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Jungle Book runs at the Old Rep until 29 January 2005.

Tickets prices are: Adults £15, Children £7.50, Concessions £10.

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It’s so nice to go to the theatre at Christmas and not to have to sit through a traditional pantomime. Don’t get me wrong, they’re always great fun, but sometimes you do fancy a change!

This year it’s provided by the staging of Jungle Book by the Birmingham Stage Company. Rudyard Kipling’s endearing story of Mowlgi the ‘wolf boy’, who grows up in the jungle will remain a favourite with readers and audiences. Us parents remember seeing it at the cinema, while the kids will probably have seen it on video or DVD.

The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book

But while there appeared to be some disappointment amongst the Old Rep audience, that the songs weren’t from the famous Disney film, they soon got over it - with the realisation even without the memorable songs, Graeme Messer’s production, with music by BB Cooper and Barb Jungr, was really rather good.

Star performances

Star performances for me came from Ben Watson at Tabaqui the Jeckal and Mary Betts, who played the hypnotic snake, Kaa.

The cast even managed to hold the attention of what was a very young audience, which again shows just how well staged this version of Jungle Book actually is.

The set design and costumes were well thought out and certainly help provide a jungle atmosphere. And anyone without pantomime withdrawal symptoms would have been comforted by the vanishing monkeys that as always, were behind you!

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