Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Jungle Book - An interview with writer Adam Dechanel


Hi Adam, what are you doing on The Jungle Book?
Contrary to popular belief, I am not playing Mowgli! I am the writer and co producer on the show!

What attracted you to the show?
The Jungle Book is an old classic, many people only remember the admittedly brilliant version by Walt Disney, however it couldn't be more different to the actual books.
This was a chance to blend the two and create something new yet familiar. It was an opportunity any writer would kill for so I couldn't pass it up!

Who's your favourite character?
I have so many, the fact only nine original characters were in the 1967 movie meant we had a rich cast of untapped characters just waiting to burst off the page. I think my favourite character would have to be Oo, he's so hilarious. Following him I also love Shere Khan & Bagheera, Jacala. Sorry I can't narrow it down!

Are you similar to any of them?
Honestly? I think I am more like Baloo. I love my food!

Do you have a favourite line or scene?
"I believe you believe it" or "Do what you dream"
Aside from that-- and here's a ((SPOILER))  I love the scene with Messua, in our version she isn't Mowgli's mother. When she meets Mowgli, its just a beautiful scene. Oh also the scene where Mowgli saves the life of a character - gone are the days of him being a crybaby!
I have to stop myself now before I just reveal everything!

What would you say to anyone who hasn't seen the show yet?
This certainly isn't the 'just for kids' Disney version with songs and dances, but its an adventure that hopefully will strike a chord in you and inspire you to pick up the book.
It's dark in places, scary even but also (I hope) emotional, educational and funny.

What have you done in the past in your career?
I've written, written and written - some of you might even have read some of it! In fact I've always written for comics, television, film and radio dramas so this is my first fully fledged theatre show. I usually spend all hours staring at a screen so this is a new experience for me.

How did you get into your profession?
Slept, ate loads of junk food and played video games... OK that's a lie... kind of.
I studied, I read a lot. I kept pushing to learn new skills and have a passion for it.

Do you have any advice for anyone hoping to work in the field of theatre?
If you've got a fire in your belly to succeed, I have some advice: "Go for it!"
Keep trying, make sure you continue with your studies and have something to fall back on but never give up!

What are you up to when The Jungle Book ends?

I'm bringing a monster to life... if I say "Modern Prometheus" it just might give you a big 'struck by lightning' clue...

The Jungle Book runs Dec 3rd 2013 - Jan 5th 2014 at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London.
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