Jungle Madness - Kids On Stage

Date 26th March 2022
Society Walkerville Musical Society
Venue Walkerville Community Centre
Type of Production Musical
Director Alan Tompkins/James Archer/William Metcalf
Musical Director Joan Fothergill
Written By


Author: Ken Allan

They say the only way to ensure the future of any musical theatre group is by nurturing and developing its youth. Those adult members of Walkerville Musical Society who were present at this production this afternoon will surely know that their future continuity is truly safe in the hands of their junior group KIDS ON STAGE. Whatever they may lack in terms of theatre-craft and ability is certainly made up for in their enthusiasm and application.

There were 29 children of all ages on stage today; some for the first time, and, because of that, they will remember this occasion for a long, long time.

Their rehearsal period is only short, and they can only use their venue for one hour every week. Taking this factor into account, their success in this performance was exceptional.

‘Jungle Madness’ is based on Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ and contains all of the well-known characters; Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, ‘Cher’ Khan, Kaa, and King Louis. It boasts twelve musical numbers which were excellently well sung by the beautifully costumed cast and nicely accompanied by Gareth Miller on keyboards. Joan Fothergill as Musical Director has done another sterling job.

The cast responded well to Alan Tompkins’ Stage Direction; ably assisted by James Archer and William Metcalf. They brought this favourite tale to life; in particular in the second act when the action became more intense, even though the technical gremlins were in existence, they soldiered on regardlessly and produced a fine result. The ‘party’ finale’ was remarkably impressive and brought the show to a rousing climax.

It is wrong to single out anyone in particular for praise, especially when all of the performers on stage were superb in their own way, but I really feel I need to mention Jazmin Bell (Mowgli) a super performance in the leading part. Lucy Bennett (Kaa the Snake) for her wonderful clear diction and excellent characterisation. Also to Angus Nugent (Tabaqui the Jackal) for his comedic acting and great projection.

It is a great testament to the Society for providing this outlet and platform for these ‘kids’ as, no doubt, some will go onto greater things in the musical theatre world. But for those who don’t, they will also benefit from the experience, as this writer has always found in later life, when their more-rounded character and confidence will shine through and help them in many other ways.

Many congratulations to all of the Team for their hard work and another successful production, also for raising over £200 for the National Deaf Children’s Association.

Past President Fred, my companion Pauleen and myself had a wonderfully enlightening afternoon’s entertainment. Thank you for the invitation and for the interval refreshments.