Glenn Elston’s Jungle Book: The Next Chapter is a musical adventure for kids aged 5-10, giving them the chance to return to one of their favourite stories.
The show is highly interactive and all three characters, Baloo the bear (Ben Kazlauskas), Mowgli (the man-cub) Joel Parnis and the rascally Jackal (Andrew Hondromatidis) all create a wonderful rapport with their audience who are very quickly initiated into the laws of the jungle as ‘wolf-cubs’. There is plenty of howling, screeching and squawking and in fact some non-jungle noises too and children excitedly clambered up to participate in the monkey and elephant dance.
The music is definitely a highlight and Joel Parnis (as Mowgli) has a powerful voice demonstrating a breadth of talent and skill. Having the words projected to the songs and beautiful images also added to creating a wonderfully aesthetic atmosphere.
However, it was a tad disappointing that while the show openly acknowledges it is not based on the Disney animated film, it does seem to lose some of the original magic through tiny glitches: such as the mispronunciation of key characters names (which are all named after their Indian translations) and the fact that dandy-like Jackal, while certainly skilful, seems slightly out of place – indeed whether in fact we are in Australia or in the Indian jungle that Rudyard Kipling described, is ambiguous as well.
However, those are minor concerns, the overall production was successful and the audience were thrilled at seeing the return of their much-loved favourites to the stage.
Glenn Elston presents
Jungle Book: The Next Chapter