The Jungle Book got off to a howling start in Bolsover Castle’s fountain garden as Mowgli the man cub bounded around with his adopted wolf family.
Equipped with the bare necessities of a picnic, cheese and wine, I watched Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s adaptation of a tale of exotic animals trying to protect the man cub from tiger Shere Kahn who had returned to kill him on his 16th birthday.
The vibrant stage and innovative costumes led us all deep into the dangerous jungle with a few close calls from a hypnotic snake and giddy monkeys. We almost thought we had entered the rain forest as the weather took a turn for the worst, especially when we were faced with a panda who was apparently lost. Even more confusing was that he had an Australian accent.
But the rain didn’t dampen the performance and we continued to enjoy the show with its catchy, original songs and sweet harmonies from a coop of chickens. The cast even monkeyed around at the interval to teach the dance moves to the children so they could join in from the comfort of their picnic rugs during the second half.
Chapterhouse Theatre Company really do know how to engage an audience of all ages, their excellent adaptations are creative and entertaining, and this show was full of humour. Their actors are the perfect distraction for a rainy outdoor performance and after all, the show must go on.