On Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th, Year 6 took to the Elgiva stage to perform ‘Jungle Book’. The children had been quick to take direction and were extremely motivated, so we knew it would be good, but even I was surprised at what an excellent performance they gave. They were all self-assured and professional and also managed to thoroughly enjoy the experience. The singing of the familiar Disney songs was excellent and their smiling faces lit up the stage. I was truly proud of them.
The tropical heat of the backstage area had us all convinced that we were indeed in the Indian rainforest, especially the two King Louie’s who sweltered in furry suits! The children all looked fantastic, thanks to the parents and our excellent art department. It was a wonderfully colourful production and with so much going on in each scene, there was never a dull moment. The dancers gave confident performances and enhanced every musical number. I was really impressed with their dedication to learning the routines with me at our dance club, even in the heat.
The elephants, monkeys and vultures were all thoroughly entertaining. Who knew that when I decided the vultures would have Russian accents, it would turn out to be something the boys were experts at?! The cheeky cockney monkeys fully inhabited their roles from the moment they came on stage and the elephants were suitably frustrated with their bombastic leader.
There were some superb individual performances from those children who played Mowgli, Bagheera, Shere Khan, Kaa, Colonel Hathi, Baloo and King Louie. We are so spoilt for talent at Gateway that all these roles were double-cast. The two evenings were equally enjoyable and impressive.
This production has been such a focus for us all for the past few months, inevitably, we all feel rather bereft now that it is all over. Well done Year 6 - you all created something wonderful together and I shall never forget it. Keep acting, singing and dancing. Not only will you enjoy it, but you will bring joy into the lives of those who watch you.
Many thanks to all the Gateway staff who rallied around, painting faces, supervising children and working backstage. Special thanks to Sophie Lawrance, Susie Mock and Tricia Hitchin for their brilliant work in the art department, to Mr Phil who turned my idea of the scaffolding into reality and to Siv Gunther, Jeanette Hyde and Kristopher Craven who worked tirelessly in the wings on both nights. Wendy O'Hare