Reviewed by Rebecca Smith
I went along to see The Jungle Book with my 12-year-old daughter, Morgan. I love the original film, but my daughter hadn’t seen it before, so was seeing this through fresh eyes. Morgan loves animals and was very excited to go tonight!
We arrived at the car park of The Lowry and found a space quickly, then we made our way to the The Quays Theatre, where the show would commence. The staff in the theatre were very polite and helpful at every stage. I did not have to ask anyone where we needed to be as there was always a member of staff guiding us.
We were seated on row P, in the stalls and had a great view of the stage. The theatre itself was light, airy, clean and comfortable. The show started on time and the cast made a great entrance and started the show well, our attention was caught straight away.
The show began by introducing the cast members, and the characters we all know and love. The show consisted of two parts, and lasted 1 hour and 55 minutes, with an interval in between of 20 minutes.
Actress Keziah Joseph did an amazing job playing Mowgli, her presence on stage was bewildering and she had a beautiful voice when she belted out the songs. Deborah Oyelade, who played Bagheera, was a breath of fresh air. Her Jungle moves lasted throughout her performance and she was brilliant to watch. I loved that Baloo, played by Dyfrig Morris was Welsh! How fabulous! He was amusing throughout and made all the children giggle. What a talented man also, to perform as Baloo and then play drums when he wasn’t needed on stage! My favourite however was Shere Khan, played by Lloyd Gorman, he was comical and a brute!
The characters are very different to what you know and love from the original film. For instance, Baloo wears fluffy dungarees and a hat and Shere Khan was the Jungle Elvis! Love that! I found the set and the costumes to be very minimal, but it just worked! The script and songs have been rewritten, my daughter enjoyed the story, but I felt a little down that my favourite songs were missing!
I did find in parts that the dialogue would go on a little in parts and my daughter and I lost interest, but the songs and choreography were energetic. The songs were lovely, and my daughter left with the final song in her head and was singing this on the way home.
Overall, I think this show was a nice fun mid-week show. We found that we were a little bored in parts, but then would be awoken by energetic and fun songs.
I would give this show a 3½ out of 5.
Tickets cost from £22.50 to £24.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Jungle Book is at The Lowry in Manchester from 2-6 May 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000