If you’ve been lucky enough to see any of Derby Theatre’s in-house festive family shows in recent years, you will know roughly what to expect from the current knockout production of The Jungle Book.
Derby Theatre’s team has cooked up some tasty ingredients in past productions and this latest one is another winner.
Adapted by Neil Duffield from Rudyard Kipling’s famous story and directed by Sarah Brigham, the show is performed by ten professional actors plus 30 members of the community and is also notable for having British Sign Language and Captioning onstage.
As with previous shows in this style at the theatre, many of the actors double as musicians (on multiple instruments) performing a fine selection of songs by Ivan Stott. In fact, the show is something of a personal triumph for the aforementioned composer/actor as not only does he provide some excellent songs, he also plays a variety of instruments AND steals every scene he is in as Baloo.
Following the adventures of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and co and their adversary Shere Khan, the use of signing cast members integrated into the story (rather than standing aside from the action), plus captioning on a screen above the stage, means there is a lot to take in during the opening minutes of the show, but once you grow used to all the activity on stage, this is a production with something for everyone.
As you would expect from this team, it is funny, enchanting, touching, dramatic and has a catchy selection of songs too.
Esme Sears (as Bagheera) is becoming something of a veteran of these Derby Theatre family shows and makes a strong impression again, as does Iniki Mariano as Mowgli, Dominic Rye as Sergeant Major and Elliott Rennie as Shere Khan.
The Jungle Book is on at Derby Theatre until Saturday, April 20, and comes very highly recommended indeed.
For ticket information, call the box office on 01332 593939 or you can click here.
For more on another Derby Theatre-related story, you can click here.
Photos by Robert Day