Two world premieres coming to Northampton

The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book

Two world premieres have been confirmed for Royal & Derngate’s Christmas line up this year, as part of its Made in Northampton season.

The Royal’s Christmas Show for 2017 will be a vivid new version of The Jungle Book by acclaimed playwright Jessica Swale, directed by Max Webster, with dramaturgy by Indhu Rubasingham.

The Singing Mermaid

The Singing Mermaid

A world premiere adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ The Singing Mermaid will also play in the venue’s Underground Studio with original music by Barb Jungr and puppetry from Little Angel Theatre.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rudyard Kipling’s birth, The Jungle Book is a co-production with Children’s Touring Partnership. This vibrant new musical adaptation of Kipling’s Nobel Prize-winning family classic will take to Northampton’s Royal stage from Tuesday November 28 to Sunday December 31. This world premiere production will then embark on a major national tour.

Jessica Swale’s first play, Blue Stockings, premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe, earning her a nomination for Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Awards 2013. Her acclaimed next play Nell Gwynn transferred to the West End and won the Olivier for Best New Comedy in 2016.

An Associate Director at the Old Vic, Max Webster directed their production of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, which was nominated for Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2016 Olivier Awards. Max returns to Royal & Derngate after directing King Lear there last year.

This well-loved tale sees Mowgli the man cub battle for survival in a heart-warming coming of age story about a boy raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. With the help of friends like Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the tiger Shere Khan and learns the law of the jungle.

Royal & Derngate's artistic director, James Dacre commented: "Featuring all its memorable characters and enduring mythology, Jessica’s anniversary adaptation promises to be a thrilling, humorous and touching re-imagining of Kipling’s timeless story."

Furthering their commitment to making work in their Underground Studio to introduce young audiences to theatre, Royal &; Derngate will also be staging another world premiere for Christmas 2017, with an adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ The Singing Mermaid, in a co-production with Little Angel Theatre.

The production will feature puppetry designed by Lyndie Wright of Little Angel Theatre, and is directed by Samantha Lane, with original songs by Barb Jungr. Aimed at under 7s and their families, the show will run from Saturday December 2 to Saturday January 13 2018.

For more information about the season or to book tickets, call Royal & Derngate’s box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk. Tickets for The Jungle Book are on-sale now and tickets for The Singing Mermaid will be on sale after Easter.