Boys will be boys and girls will always monkey about, so
when they are given the chance to be anthropoids, they all take it with gusto.
I have seldom seen such a gang of escapees, truants and mischievous youngsters
enjoying themselves so much.
Led by confident performances from the principals Mowgli,
Bagheera, Baloo, Shanti and Shere Khan and solidly supported by the other
leading parts, the performance rollicked along at an exhilarating pace. The
jungle drums and evocative music from the excellent live jazz trio of grown-ups
lent tropical realism to the wonderful set representing the Indian jungle.
Birds of a feather flock together as did the vultures (not
always our favourite birds) with their squawking, flapping ways. Kaa, the
snake, was beautifully choreographed as his four segments slid in sinister
fashion across the boards. Colonel Hathi led his elephant platoon with smart
military precision, having no truck with laggards. Their ponderous plodding was
in marked contrast to the monkey troupe - half a dozen leaping and bounding
springs of ceaseless energy that constantly brought smiles to the faces of the
audience. Whether they were true and loyal servants of His Majesty King Louie I
The singing was of a high standard from the leading roles,
not easy as the score is largely jungle cacophony provided by the trio, and the
sound engineer did a fine job balancing the face microphones with the band.
When it came to the two big numbers, ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘I Wanna Be
Like You’, everyone pulled out the stops to great acclaim from a highly
appreciative audience. Proud parents were hard-pressed to identify their
offspring such was the genius of the make-up and costume department.
The overarching message I took from the performance is that
here is a school where ten year olds enthusiastically combine with staff to create
an adult show full of youthful vigour, displaying hints of great talent to
come, beautifully conceived and directed. Well done all.