so nice to go
to the theatre at Christmas and not to have to sit through a traditional
pantomime. Dont get me wrong, theyre always great fun,
but sometimes you do fancy a change!
year its provided by the staging of Jungle Book by the Birmingham
Stage Company. Rudyard Kiplings 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
while there appeared to be some disappointment amongst the Old Rep
audience, that the songs werent from the famous Disney film,
they soon got over it - with the realisation even without the memorable
songs, Graeme Messers production, with music by BB Cooper
and Barb Jungr, was really rather good.
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!