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Akram Khan's Jungle Book Reimagined Review

Akram Khan breathes epic new life into Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book as his company's latest production premieres at Curve before setting off on an international tour. 

Photo by Ambra Vernuccio

Khan's vision replants the story into the bleak reality of the modern world and the impact climate change has on the world we live in. Mowgli is a refugee in a world that's been devasted by the impact climate change has had. Rooting the story here adds deeper meaning for a modern audience and mirrors the reality we all face in our daily lives.

The deeply impactful piece carries that message throughout as Mowgli's journey goes on and it's something that will stick with you as an audience. The bleakness of the bare stage lets the bodies tell the story and with Khan at the helm you're guaranteed stunning movement. The ability to effortlessly express feeling through movement is extraordinary to watch and the on-stage talented company is world-class.

The most astonishing feature of this production though comes from the creatives at YeastCulture who serve up the most amazing animation that further brings the world and its animals to life. It's cinematic, powerful, and draws you in as an audience. It's beautifully synchronised to the dancer's movements and adds further impact to the story, particularly in the latter scenes including a jaw-dropping scene involving rising sea waves. The entire time the animation blows you away and it's projected perfectly on the front and back of the stage.

Photo by Ambra Vernuccio

Add in a compelling soundtrack with the use of composer Jocelyn Pook's atmospheric and gorgeous music and a soundscape designed by Gareth Fry and you've something unique and special that is created right before your eyes. Creatively it's a phenomenal achievement. 

This is theatre at its most relevant and compelling. As an audience, you just sit back in awe of what you're witnessing whilst taking in the deeper context and message of the story that unfolds. Akram Khan reinvents a classic story for a modern audience and it's a piece you'll never forget. Everything is perfectly crafted together. Simply astonishing.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jungle Book Reimagined plays at Curve until Saturday 9th April, before visiting Birmingham Hippodrome on 29th and 30th April. The show also plays in St Pölten, Paris, Bilbao and Madrid. Head to for full tour details and venues. 

Photo by Ambra Vernuccio

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