Jungle Book: The Next Chapter
Monkeying around with Kipling’s classic
This article is from 2010.
Rudyard Kipling’s fables are part of the collective national psyche, so this follow-up from Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company has a lot to live up to.
The story picks up when Mowgli, now grown, returns to the jungle to visit Baloo. The curmudgeonly bear leads songs based on the well-known characters (straying far enough from the Disney versions not to court legal action), warnings about the perils of The Big Smoke, and imparting Kipling’s laws of the jungle. The Jackal crops up as a slavering baddie (watch out for a gentle soaking in the first few rows) completing a trio of engaging performances pitched successfully at a wide age range.
In two notoriously tricky aspects – audience interaction and the incorporation of multimedia – the group excels. As a standalone show it works well, but when it comes to cultural heritage, Baloo would likely council that some things are best left alone.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 30 Aug (not Mon), 11.30am, £7–£8 (£6–£7).