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Oldham Coliseum Presents THE JUNGLE BOOK

Oldham Coliseum Presents THE JUNGLE BOOK

This Spring Oldham Coliseum presents a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's famous story The Jungle Book, a perfect treat for the whole family to enjoy.

Join Mowgli the man cub, his wolf pack and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther in this classic coming of age story; packed with memorable songs, humour and brilliant storytelling. Can Mowgli outwit the cruel and powerful tiger Shere Khan? With the help of his friends he learns the law of the jungle and confronts the dangers in his path.

The Jungle Book is the first family show that the Coliseum has produced outside of the festive season for almost 20 years. The theatre is famous for its annual traditional pantomime and is building upon this with another brilliant theatre experience for all ages this Easter. Performed by a cast of seven talented actors The Jungle Book explores the universal themes of family, belonging and identity. The design of the production is a meeting of worlds, set in an 'urban jungle' playground upon which the cast will climb and swing throughout the play.

The stage-musical of The Jungle Book was adapted by Olivier award winning writer Jessica Swale with songs by Joe Stilgoe and will be directed at the Coliseum by former Artistic Director of The Dukes, Lancaster Sarah Punshon with Musical Direction by Tayo Akinbode and Movement Direction by Stuart Bowden.

The cast cast features Tamara Verhoven Clyde as Akela the wolf leader, Kaa the snake and Leela the wolf cub, Ebony Feare as Mowgli's wolf mother Raksha, Matthew Ganley as Shere Khan the tiger, Neil Hurst as Baloo the bear, Ani Nelson as Bagheera the panther, Jason Patel as Mowgli and Tarek Slater as Mowgli's wolf father Hiran and Mugger the monkey.

Tamara Verhoven Clyde plays Akela the wolf leader, Kaa the snake and Leela the wolf cub. Tamara is a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School.

Ebony Feare plays Mowgli's wolf mother Raksha. Ebony's recent credits include Treasure Island at Octagon Theatre Bolton, The Winter's Tale at National Theatre and Babe at Mercury Theatre Colchester.

Matthew Ganley plays Shere Khan the tiger. Coliseum audiences will recognise Matthew from his performances in the Coliseum's productions of Bread & Roses, The Ladykillers and Our Gracie. Matthew's other credits include the national tour of Around The World in 80 Days, Prince and the Pauper at New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Maggie May at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre.

Neil Hurst plays Baloo the bear. Neil began his career in comedy as a song and dance act supporting the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Bob Monkhouse, Ken Dodd and Cannon and Ball. His theatre credits include the national tours of Early Doors Live and Fat Friends the Musical.

Ani Nelson plays Bagheera the panther. Ani's recent credits include: Little Miss Burden at The Bunker Theatre in London, The Trick at The Bush Theatre in London and Abigail's Party at Hull Truck Theatre.

Jason Patel plays Mowgli. Jason grew up nearby to Oldham in the neighbouring borough of Tameside, he studied at Ashton Sixth Form College before attending drama school in London. Jason's credits include The Famous Four and a Half Go Wild in Thetford Forest for Eastern Angles and Peter Pan at The Dukes, Lancaster.

Tarek Slater plays Mowgli's wolf father Hiran and Mugger the monkey. Tarek's recent credits include Fell for Edgeways Productions, Planet Caravan for People Zoo Productions and Down Ashton for Octagon Theatre Bolton. In 2016 Tarek was nominated for Best Actor at the Manhattan Short Film Festival for his role in the short film Hope Dies Last.

Jessica Swale is an Olivier Award-winning British playwright, theatre director and screenwriter. In 2016 her play Nell Gwynn won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Alongside The Jungle Book, her stage adaptations include: Sense and Sensibility, Far From the Madding Crowd (Watermill Theatre, London), The Secret Garden and Stig of the Dump (Grosvenor Park, Chester).

Joe Stilgoe is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter. As a recording artist he has released 5 critically lauded albums, three of which have topped the UK Jazz chart. As composer he has written music and lyrics The Midnight Gang, an adaption of the David Walliams's novel, which opened at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018.

Director Sarah Punshon is Artistic Director of One Tenth Human, an innovative arts-science company creating interactive adventures, and was Artistic Director of The Dukes, Lancaster from 2017-19. Her previous productions include Cinderella: A Fairytale, Peter Pan, The Three Musketeers and Aladdin for The Dukes, Lancaster; Educating Rita for The Dukes Lancaster and New Vic Theatre, Partners in Crime for Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and The Box of Photographs for Polka Theatre, which was nominated for the Off West End Award for Best Production for Young People.

Tayo Akinbode is a composer and Musical Director for theatre, film, TV, radio, circus and community projects. His recent work includes: Junkyard for Headlong Theatre Company; Dick Whittington for Theatr Clwyd and Sonnet Sunday, Henry IV pt 1, pt2 and Henry V for Shakespeare's Globe.

Perhaps best known for the Disney animated version, The Jungle Book was originally a collection of short stories written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894. Kipling was born in Mumbai (or Bombay as it was called then) in 1865. When he was five he was sent to England to live with a foster family in Southsea, but he returned to India when he turned 16 and became a journalist, writing poems and stories in his spare time.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre's production of The Jungle Book is sponsored by Jigsaw Homes.

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