London, August 19: If you’re Rudyard Kipling’s fan then you’d probably know ‘The Jungle Book’. The beautiful collection of stories surrounding Mowgli and his life in jungle has been close to all of us, right? The nostalgic fables created by Kipling have recently been turned into an innovative musical called ‘The Concrete Jungle’ which is being played at Edinburgh’s famous fringe festival.
In the musical play, gritty outlook on life has been portrayed where the tigers and the forests have been replaced by homeless people and refugees struggling to survive. The brainchild of this unique realist play is British writer-director Dominic Garfield who plays the central character of Mowgli. Garfield said, “The story of Mowgli, the feral boy trying to make his way in the jungle, we straight away saw a real resemblance in young people trying to find their way on the streets when they are homeless and stuck in gruesome situations.“
In this contemporary musical play, Mowgli is a homeless young refugee wandering through dilapidated tower blocks, forced to contend with adversaries like King Louis and monkeys, who are portrayed as a street gang. The production has high energy grime and rap music playing the background. The Concrete Jungle addresses dark themes of drugs and violence on the streets. The producers felt that the issue must be incorporated in this play as it is relatable.
To research the show, the cast worked with British homeless charity Centrepoint and talked to young homeless people, some of whom were refugees, about their journeys from places such as war-torn Sudan, to Calais, to London's streets.
The Concrete Jungle by Dominic Garfield is the exact portrayal of crisis that the world is facing today. And no one would disagree that we all do reside in the concrete jungle of globalization. The transformation of such a powerful theme from the best-selling fable i.e. The Jungle Book is phenomenal.