Review: Concrete Jungle Book

HighRise Theatre in association with artsdepot
ZOO (Venue 123) until 7 – 14 Aug 2017

3 Stars (3 / 5)

“There is no fear when there’s hunger in the air.”

The Concrete Jungle Book by Dominic Garfield is a new a hiphOpera inspired by Rudyard Kippling’s classic. A young boy flees his foster home in search of the father figure he has always longed to find and has to learn the laws of the street as he faces the challenges of becoming his own man.

An enjoyable and engaging performance which climaxes on a beautifully choreographed fight seen, The Concrete Jungle Book offers laughs and touching moments. The raps and spoken word segments do the trick for telling the story but there are no transcendent lyrics boasting complex rhyme schemes or sophisticated language; this could give the show a further lift by allowing performers to showcase talents and punctuate the show with some WOWs. An amusing rap battle between the foster kids offers a stand out moment, as do the protagonists taking a blind ex-serviceman to the top of a high-rise so he can feel the wind for the first time in an age.

The character Baloo gives a particularly well rounded and good nature performance, delighting the audience with his antics which seems at odds with his power as a gentle giant.