The Jungle Referendum

The Jungle Referendum, by Three Mugs of Tea Theatre, invokes the classic tale of the Jungle Book to explain what’s going on with the Scottish referendum.

While amusing in parts, the play lacked sophistication and despite attempting to draw a parallel between the jungle and the referendum, it isn’t clear what it’s trying to say.

Not quite political theatre and not quite satire, the play uses the characters of Mowgli, his wolf parents, and the chattering monkeys in an attempt to express the confusion and complacency of potential voters.

The show begins with three actors planted in the audience, which is both obvious and unnecessary. Once they take to the stage and begin an opening song and dance routine the show picks up pace.

The performers are enthusiastic and work well together, but their Brechtian attempts have touches of high school drama class to them: too often they break character to address the audience or each other as themselves, which, far from being avant-garde, unfortunately slows down the play. All are good singers, though the lyrics tend to be simplistic (but entertaining nonetheless).

The skimpy plot involves Mowgli learning about the political situation from his adopted father and then journeying high into the trees to meet the powerful monkey people.

David Cameron and Alex Salmond are cast as a monkey and tiger, respectively: one arguing for togetherness and one for independence. Not being from the UK myself, I was interested by the debate discussing the impact the Scottish referendum would have on currency, university fees, and defence – although if I had already been aware of these facts I would have found this expositional section far too heavy handed.

The chattering and howling of monkeys and wolves and a schoolyard fight scene provided an amusing comment on the Parliament, although I thought the staging could have been sharpened at time and found the set - some painted boxes and a window frame - a little clumsy.

While amusing in parts, the play lacked sophistication and despite attempting to draw a parallel between the jungle and the referendum, it isn’t clear what it’s trying to say. 

Reviews by Emma Gibson

theSpace @ Venue45

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill

★★★★
C venues - C nova

Cartography

★★★
theSpace on the Mile

The Beanfield

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

The Hampstead Murder Mystery!

★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Marching for Necie

★★
Paradise in The Vault

Women of the Mourning Fields

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Let us take you into the Jungle, where Mowgli lives with Father and Mother Wolf who opens her eyes for the first time to the world of politics and the upcoming vote in Scotland. Mowgli travels around the jungle searching for some answers and meets David Cameron and the monkeys and Alex Salmond the tiger - independence or better together? With the two opposing sides in a playground brawl, how can she possibly make up her mind? Featuring song, poetry and Scottish jig, Mowgli welcomes you to her journey to discover the truth about the Scottish Referendum.

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets