Jessica Swale
Jessica Swale
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

A new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book by Jessica Swale is to embark on a UK tour.

The production, which will be directed by Max Webster (The Lorax) and features music by Joe Stilgoe. As previously announced, it opens at Royal & Derngate in November and begins a UK tour at Chichester Festival Theatre in January 2018.

The cast will feature Rachel Dawson as Kaa Grey, Lloyd Gorman as Shere Khan, TJ Holmes as Hiran, Avita Jay as Raksha, Keziah Joseph as Mowgli, Dyfrig Morris as Balloo, Deborah Oyelade as Bagheera and Tripti Tripuraneni as Akala. They are joined by Ruri James and Chipo Kureya in the ensemble.

Kipling's family classic was first published in 1894 and tells the tale of Mowgli the man cub, a boy raised by wolves in the jungle.

Swale, whose play Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016, said: "I jumped at the chance to adapt The Jungle Book because it's such a vivid world - yet, for a writer, there's so much opportunity to imagine the jungle afresh.

"Part of the book's enduring appeal is that the jungle can be anything we choose. It's a playground, a school, a hideaway, an adventure, so I've enjoyed exploring what sort of place this mysterious, delightful, sometimes scary place might be."

The production will have design by Peter McKintosh, musical supervision by Paul Herbert, movement direction by Lizzi Gee, lighting design by Charles Balfour, puppetry design and direction by Nick Barnes and fight direction by Kate Waters.

The Jungle Book runs at Royal & Derngate from 28 November to 31 December. The UK tour begins at Chichester Festival Theatre on 25 January and continues to Richmond, Liverpool, Wycombe, Bromley, Malvern, Cambridge, Newcastle, Plymouth, Norwich, Nottingham, Canterbury, Salford and Blackpool.

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