Metta Theatre’s production offers a unique twist on a classic book. In this new version of the first three parts of Kipling’s Jungle Book we follow Mowgli (Nathalie Alison) on her search for identity and belonging, trying to find her place in an alien environment. Gone is the jungle of old; replaced by a stark urban landscape inhabited by skateboarding wolves, street dancing monkeys, a beat-loving bin man Baloo and graffiti artist Bagheera.
As the result of a pre-Salford injury the cast was reduced from seven to six, with Nathalie Alison stepping into the role of Mowgli (from Kaa) and Ellen Wolf moving from Raksha to Kaa. This may explain why there felt to be something missing – a lack of overall cohesion.
Whilst a great concept, there were moments when the bold interpretation blurred the clarity of the tale. Despite a duration of only 65 minutes, the evening felt slightly over long and struggled to maintain the attention of the young audience that it was aimed at.
However, the production is worth seeing for the excellent choreography by hip hop artist Kendra J Horsburgh and the impressive street dance and circus skills demonstrated by the cast.
Quays Theatre, The Lowry: August 29t - September 2nd 2017