Year 6 venture into The Jungle Book
Under the watchful eye and direction of Elstree Head of Drama ‘Mrs Oliver’, Year 6 has been busy rehearsing Jessica Swale’s The Jungle book this term. After only a handful of rehearsals, Year 6 rose to the challenge and performed for a live stream earlier today.
Olivier Award winner Jessica Swale’s The Jungle Book
For those unfamiliar with the story, The Jungle Book is about adventure, spirit and courage. It carefully addresses issues such as friendship, respect and belonging. Cleverly, it conveys the message of loving each other to survive as a harmonious community. In her own words, Jessica Swale says:
“The Jungle Book is, in one sense, one small person’s quest to work out who they are – whether they fit in, when they’re different from everyone else, and how to make their way in a world where they feel like an outsider. Yet, it is also a big story-the tale of a tribe, a great, big extended family, who must learn to love and respect each of their members as individuals if they are to survive as a community.”
Magically inspired by Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book stories have always held a magical appeal for Swale. Wanting to remain as true to the original stories as possible, Swale’s production – performed by our Year 6 – highlights the relationship between the jungle animals and Mowgli. Aiming to create a more contemporary and humorous feel, characters like Shere Khan is a wounded rock star; Bagheera is a sleek, bossy executive; and the funky monkeys are a gang of ‘homeboys’. Furthermore, characters Akela and Bagheera are females, not males, as in the original.
Elstree Year 6’s Production of Swale’s The Jungle Book
Needless to say, Year 6 smashed their live stream performance today. Mrs Oliver was absolutely delighted with how hard Year 6 worked for their production. Here, she shares some of those highlight, stand-out moments:
Most zany costume:
High tension scenes:
If you didn’t get a chance to see Friday’s live performance, watch it here on our YouTube Channel.
Costume and Set Design
Thanks to our talented Head of Art, Mrs Sycklemoore, performers wore a variety of animal masks and wire accessories. Mowgli even had his own custom-made baby marionette.
Mrs Oliver said: “It has been a fantastic experience for the children to perform with masks. What’s more, they made the papier mache versions during the Drama camp. Thank you also to Head of DT Mr Duarte for creating our jungle props.”
The Jungle Book music
It was always Mrs Oliver’s intention to do justice to the beautiful musical score by British jazz composer, John Stilgoe. She said: “I am grateful to Mary & Iain Westley, Gary Bentley and Sue Whitling for the remarkable way in which they have interpreted the complex music without any available soundtrack. You may not recognise any of the songs, but we hope you will leave the performance singing along to the tunes, just as we have been.”
What did our stellar cast have to say?