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The Musicals

 

MOWGLI

Czech lyrics: Gabriela Osvaldová

Music: Ondřej Soukup.

 

An original non-classical musical in 14 scenes, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’. The story is told in a light, humorous form; the songs are conceived as routines based on various genres, verging on cabaret, accompanied by matching dance numbers. The mise-en-scène is based on Indian visual arts, inspired by the specific colour palette of the local nature.

 

'Mowgli' is a musical for adults and children. There are several layers within it that will be more appreciated by adults, but children's imaginations can go full steam ahead during the performance. 

 

Labelled by critics as the "best production of the season".

 

Since the premiere in September 2013 there have been over 120 performances at the Kalich Theatre in Prague, plus 14 in Slovakia.

 

'Mowgli' has a cast of 16 and an orchestra of seven.

 

Mowgli musical
VIDEO
Performance in Czech with English subtitles.
MOWGLI Part 1
58:47
MOWGLI Part 2
44:56
SYNOPSIS

CHARACTERS

 

  • Mowgli: A brave, proud and nimble boy, lost in the jungle and raised by a pack of wolves.

 

  • Bagheera the Panther: An elegant, clever and dangerous black panther, Mowgli’s friend.

 

  • Baloo The Bear: A big, ungainly, good-natured hunk of a bear, Mowgli’s teacher and friend.

 

  • Shere Khan the Tiger: A lame, unpredictable and dangerous predator, the terror of the jungle.

 

  • Tabaqui the Jackal: An ingratiating, vicious, sly and spineless scavenger.

 

  • Raksha: Mother Wolf

  • Rao: Father Wolf

  • Akela: Wise and authoritative pack leader

  • Kaa the Python: A gigantic, wise snake

  • The Monkey King: Devious, boastful, ridiculous

  • Rashmi: A pretty Indian village girl - about 12 years old

 

  • Hathi the Elephant: Leader of the elephant pack

  • The Vultures: Shady characters living on the margins of animal society.

  • Also: wolves, cubs, monkeys, elephants, vultures, deer and other animals.

 

 

The story takes place in the jungle by the river Wainganga, at a time when Mowgli is about 12 years old. He likes it when his friend Bagheera the Panther tells him bedtime stories about how he once found him, how Raksha the Mother Wolf took him in and chased away Shere Khan the Tiger who wanted to kill him. He even dreams about it at night.

 

The chatty jackal Tabaqui warns that Shere Khan is returning to the jungle after years of absence. Bagheera starts fearing for Mowgli’s safety and tries to persuade him to return to the human village.  Mowgli refuses and the dilemma is brought before the wolf assembly. The wolves, who are afraid of Shere Khan, decide that Mowgli should indeed return to his own kind.

 

After a first encounter with Rashmi, a human girl that he scares away, Mowgli goes back to the jungle. Baloo the Bear looks after him, but he’s kidnapped by dangerous monkeys who bring him to their king in the Lost City. Since Mowgli is a human, the king demands the secret of fire from him, which would help him become the feared overlord of the entire jungle. But Mowgli’s life is in danger among the monkeys, and he is saved by his friends Bagheera, Baloo and Kaa the Python.

 

Bagheera argues with Baloo whether Mowgli should stay in the jungle or not - he explains that Mowgli will grow up one day and look for a partner. Meanwhile, Mowgli decides to act on his own and conquer Shere Khan. He meets the old, revered elephant Hathi, who is growing somewhat forgetful. Mowgli begs him for help. The elephant tells him that Shere Khan can only be defeated by fire, which all animals are afraid of. But Mowgli doesn’t know how to make fire or where to find it.

 

He sets out on a lonely journey through the jungle, feeling abandoned by his friends but determined to make it on his own. He meets a strange, slightly sinister gang of vultures, who consider him a fellow outcast and offer him shelter.

 

Shere Khan the Tiger, who has been on Mowgli’s tracks all along, finally confronts the abandoned boy. Mowgli defends himself with a dagger he obtained from the Monkey King in the Lost City, but he is no match for the tiger and is fortunately rescued again by Bagheera, later joined by Baloo, who almost dies fighting the tiger. Luckily, a thunderstorm breaks out at the right moment; a stroke of lightning sets a dead tree on fire and Mowgli chases Shere Khan away with a burning branch.

 

As our main heroes are recovering after the hard fight and sharing their tale with Kaa the Python, the ingratiating jackal Tabaqui, an old gossip, tells them that Shere Khan, mad with fear, has run into a trap which the humans have set for him because he was stealing their cattle. Everyone is relieved except for Mowgli, who seeks out the captured tiger. When he realizes the humiliating death that awaits the tiger, he is won over by his allegiance to the animals and decides to free his dreaded foe.

 

Ashamed, Shere Khan promises to leave and hide his disgrace in another jungle far away.

 

Mowgli now leads a carefree life in the jungle with his friends, but the memory of the girl, Rashmi, is haunting him. He ventures back towards the human village. Baloo, who is afraid it will lead to the same fiasco as their last encounter, decides to help Mowgli become an admired hero in the girl’s eyes. He puts on a mock fight in which Mowgli beats him. Surprisingly, the girl falls for it. When she realizes how Mowgli sees eye to eye with all the animals in the jungle, she’s enchanted.

 

Mowgli’s friends agree that he’s finally found the right reason to join the humans again. The entire jungle says farewell.

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