Jungle Book reimagined | Interview with The Scotsman

5 October 2022

In the late 1800s, they read it in a magazine. In the 1970s and 80s, they sang along to a Disney animation. And in the 1990s and beyond, they watched live action and CGI versions in film and television. Regardless of what was going on in the world around them, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book has been a constant in children’s lives for over a century. The inter-play between humans and animals, the themes of law and order, of freedom and connection have meant different things at different times. And now, almost 130 years after Kipling’s tales were first serialised, choreographer Akram Khan has created a Jungle Book for the children and families of today.

Back in 1893, young Mowgli’s primary concerns were learning how to get along with everyone and find enough food and water. At no point did he worry whether there would be a planet left for him to live on. With today’s children reminded on a daily basis that life as we know it may look very different by the time they reach their grandparent’s age, Khan is sending out a warning message about climate change, but also a signal of hope. Because if we’re clever enough to have caused this mess in the first place, we’re clever enough to clean it up.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

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