Experience The Jungle Book like you’ve never imagined with the return of HighRise’s acclaimed Hip-Hop musical THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK performed by an exciting cast of multi-talented performers coming to The Pleasance, London (Main Space) Wednesday 25th May – Saturday 11th June 2022.
Described as ‘swapping bare necessities for harsh realities’ by the New York Times, THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK is an explosive and energetic show catapulting this classic story into inner-city Britain, with live rap music, grime, reggae, spoken word and big personality.
Having previously played to great critical acclaim at The Edinburgh Festival in 2017 and a limited run last year, HighRise are back with their high octane version of Kipling’s much loved classic.
As the jungle’s trees become tower blocks, Mo(wgli) navigates her way through relationships, unstable housing conditions and hostile creatures, trying to find the parental figures she has always longed for.
Libby Liburd Producer of The CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK says:
“The original production was created in collaboration with young people from CentrePoint, many displaced from their home countries, who shared their lived experiences of homelessness in London. The additional insight from the NewGens has helped to shape the production into what it is today. NewGens are an incredibly talented collective of professional young artists, challenging the status quo of the current theatre landscape. It is ultimately their story, spoken in their language, with their voice. We can’t wait to share their incredible talents; they really are the future of British theatre.”
The cast includes Joseph RA Lindsay (as Bagheera) Michael Mbozo (as Kaa, Hitman, Matthew) Che Campbell (as Jeff, Luke, Sniper) Che Gordon (as Trevor/Tyler/Clipse) Jack Boal (as Pete, Sticky Nicky, Louie Slippaz), Nicky Rose Roshini (as Mo(wgli)) Lauryn Louise (as Miss Matthews, Manic, Dotty) and Lesley Rietta Cobbina (as Balloo) many making their professional debut on stage in London.
THE CONCRETE JUNGLE BOOK boasts an incredible line up of creatives, including musical direction by UK number 1 music producer Kwame ‘KZ The Producer’ Kwei-Armah JR – known for his work with Nines, Kojey Radical, Wretch 32 and most recently the iconic back to school Asda (UK Drill) commercial.
It is Written and Directed by Dominic Garfield (Merryville, Big Foot, Sandpits Avenue and (upcoming) The UK Drill Project) with Assistant Director Fahd Shaft. The Original Music is written by Dominic, Duncan ‘Soulecta’ Burton and KZ with additional music contributed by Assistant Musical Director, Jack D’Arcy. It is produced by Libby Liburd for HighRise Theatre; supported by Shoreditch Town Hall, Something To Aim For & Arts Council England.
Musical Director and co-writer of the Musical score KZ ‘the Producer’ says:
“The story is so compelling, it needed that energy and songs that could translate to the masses. We’ve taken our own experiences of growing up in London (the concrete jungle) and our shared experiences of the music and theatre world, picking from different styles that come from London. It was fun to explore: what does identity sound like?”
Writer Dominic Garfield Says:
“Growing up, I always related to the character of Mowgli. As an adult I began to understand the intricacies of the character on a whole new level; The ferrall child, misunderstood by most, exploited by others & always trying to catch a break. The book is dark & explores these themes much further than the colorful Disney version. My mission was to blend the colourful with the dark, creating an honest portrayal of what it means to be forced to understand the streets in London as a young person & search for guidance & security in all the wrong places”.