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New production of the The Jungle Book set to open at Norwich Theatre Royal

Keziah Joseph as Mowgli and the company in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Keziah Joseph as Mowgli and the company in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Manuel Harlan

The timeless story of Mowgli the man-cub and how he came of age in the jungle is being re-imagined in a new production at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Dyfrig Morris as Balloo in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel HarlanDyfrig Morris as Balloo in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book follows the tale of the youngster who is raised by wolves in the jungle.

The show features a brand new score and script and aims to explore the themes of family, belonging and identity when it takes to the stage this month.

Taking on the lead role of Mowgli is Keziah Joseph who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. A winner of the 2016 Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award, she is a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company with previous performing credits including Kanye The First for HighTide, The Archers, Watership Down and Northanger Abbey for BBC Radio 4, and the Doctor Who audio adventure Cold Venture.

Starring opposite her as Shere Khan is Norfolk’s Lloyd Gorman who got his introduction to performing though the Norwich Theatre Royal Arts Course. He has appeared in the likes of Sunny Afternoon in the West End, the UK tour of Our House, many productions for the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, and Cinderella at The Garage in Norwich.

Deborah Oyelade as Bagheera and Dyfrig Morris as Balloo in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel HarlanDeborah Oyelade as Bagheera and Dyfrig Morris as Balloo in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Lloyd is also enjoying the chance to come back and act on home turf playing such a well-known character. He said: “Everyone knows the Disney version of Shere Khan who is suave and sophisticated. For this production, he has morphed into a wannabe rockabilly with an orange quiff. He is a modern version of the character. I hope it is effective in that respect.”

The Jungle Book was adapted for the stage by playwright Jessica Swale, whose previous play Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016.

The production comes from the Children’s Touring Partnership which brought the critically-acclaimed Goodnight Mister Tom, Swallows and Amazons, and Running Wild to Norwich Theatre Royal.

Director Max Webster said “With wonderful songs by the jazz legend Joe Stilgoe, and packed with adventure, humour and magic, this classic tale is perfect for all the family.”

Keziah Joseph as Mowgli and the company in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel HarlanKeziah Joseph as Mowgli and the company in The Jungle Book. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The Jungle Book will be at Norwich Theatre Royal on April 10, 13 and 14 at 7pm and from April 11 - 14 at 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased from the Norwich Theatre Royal website or by calling 01603 630000. Prices range from £10-£23. Discounts for Friends, Corporate Club, Under-18s, Over-60s, and Groups. Audio-described and signed performance on Saturday 14 April at 2.30pm.

For more of what’s happening around Norfolk this year, join our new Facebook group Norfolk Going Out.

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