London Premiere Of JUNGLE BOOK Comes To London's Wonderground
Following a sell-out, critically acclaimed national tour, Metta Theatre's hip-hop and circus adaptation of JUNGLE BOOK transfers to LonDon Wonderground at Southbank Centre. Poppy Burton-Morgan's acclaimed production with thrilling choreography from ZooNation/Birdgang Dance choreographer Kendra J Horsburgh sees Kipling's original story played out through spectacular street dance and contemporary circus.
Politically provocative and visually spectacular, this is a form-breaking piece of hip-hop dance theatre.
Mowgli is played by Natalie Nicole James, aka 'Broken Doll' a dance-trapeze and hip-hop artist.
In this JUNGLE BOOK, young Mowgli is forgotten by the city suits (the 'village' of Kipling's original) and is raised by the breakdancing Wolf crew. As she searches for her identity and belonging in the urban jungle, she discovers pole-dancing Snakes, gangsta rapper Tigers, a beat-loving bin man Baloo and a homeless Vulture spinning inside a giant coin (aerial hoop).
Choreographer Kendra J Horsburgh is Co-Artistic Director of BirdGang Dance, a Young Vic Associate Dance Company. Originally from Luxembourg, Kendra has led a successful career as a trailblazing female artist/choreographer since 2005.
The show stars seven of the UK's leading street-dance and circus artists. Nathalie Alison (Kaa andVulture) is a champion pole artist, Kloé Dean (Bagheera) is Artistic Director of all-female hip-hop crew Myself UK Dance and Dean Stewart (Shere Khan), is a Britain's Got Talent finalist and member of leading streetDance Company Boy Blue; Stefan Puxon (Baloo) and Matt Knight (Akela) are street dancers with extensive credits including appearances with Pixie Lott, Will Young, Beverley Knight, David Hasselhoff and Robbie Wiliams, and dancer Ellen Wolf (Raksha) recently performed in the James Bond film Spectre and is a member of Birdgang Dance.
Metta Theatre are known for their powerful visual storytelling and exploration of multi-cultural stories often from a female perspective. In JUNGLE BOOK we follow Mowgli on her search for identity and belonging - vulnerable, isolated and trying to find her place in an alien environment.
Award-winning Metta Theatre are prolific theatre makers and masters of storytelling who combine circus, new writing and physical theatre forms to make challenging and richly layered work. Previous work using the multi-dimensionality of circus to unlock narratives includes their adaptation of The King of Tiny Things (an award-winning show which toured nationally in 2015 to major venues and festivals ("effortlessly charming" - Exeunt). Recent new writing includes Mouthful at London's Trafalgar Studios in September 2015 (Critics' Choice, The Times), a response to the global food crisis from six of the world's leading dramatists in partnership with six world-renowned scientists. These projects were both part of Metta 10 - ten shows staged acRoss One year to celebrate the company's tenth birthday - of which Jungle Book is the 10th. Metta Theatre are supported by Arts Council England's Strategic Touring Fund and are a newly appointed Associate Company at Exeter Northcott Theatre.