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Young Norfolk actors get set to perform The Jungle Book

11:20 15 August 2014

Members of The Garage youth theatre company rehearsing their annual summer show - The Jungle Book. Photo: Steve Adams

Members of The Garage youth theatre company rehearsing their annual summer show - The Jungle Book. Photo: Steve Adams

Audiences are set to be transported into the depths of the jungle as performers from The Garage present Rudyard Kipling’s classic story of the man-cub Mowgli.

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The Jungle Book is taking to the stage at the Norwich venue on Friday and Saturday with a cast featuring nearly 60 young actors aged seven to 18.

The production tells the well-known tale of how the little boy Mowgli strays from his riverside village, joins the wolf cubs in the jungle, and encounters characters such as Baloo the bear and Shere Khan the tiger - but director Rebecca Chapman said audiences will have to wait to see if Mowgli returns to his home or stays in the jungle.

“We have been thinking a lot about Mowgli being someone very much living in someone else’s world, and we have talked a lot about people moving from country to country and how they feel learning new languages and cultures,” she said, describing the show as “fun but with an underlying message.”

The production aims to give a new slant to the story and while there is music and dance throughout the play, the well-known Jungle Book songs are being saved for a special medley for the curtain call.

To accommodate the large cast some new characters have also been created for the show, including a group of mosquitos who act as the narrators.

The production has been put together over the last two weeks, and Miss Chapman said the young people had done an amazing job.

“This is the biggest cast we have ever had for a summer production and they have just been exemplary as a group. They have worked so hard,” she said.

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Graham, who plays Shere Khan, said: “You will never see another show like it because everyone has just got such strong friendships and we have all worked so hard. It’s one of those shows where everyone in the audience will want to get up and be involved.”

Twelve-year-old Daniel Gomez plays older Mowgli in the show.

About his character, he said: “He wears raggedy clothes and he’s quite happy most of the time but sometimes he can get really angry at moments when everyone turns against him.”

• The Jungle Book is being performed at The Garage tonight and tomorrow on Friday and Saturday. All performances are sold out.

For more about shows and events at The Garage visit www.thegarage.org.uk

• Are you involved in a news arts project in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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