Review: Jungle Book is a roaring success

The cast of St Michael's Amateurs Juniors production of Jungle Book Kids
The cast of St Michael's Amateurs Juniors production of Jungle Book Kids

The St Michael’s Amateurs Juniors In Concert (S’MAJIC) production of Disney’s “Jungle Book-Kids” is proving to be a roaring success, writes Simon Ainley.

Rudyard Kipling’s story of Mowgli the man-cub and his adventures in the jungle forms the basis of one of Disney’s most endearing cartoons.

S’MAJIC, in their first ever production, bring it thrillingly to life on the stage.

The small preview audience were treated to a colourful, tuneful and energetic interpretation of all the hit songs from the show.

Imaginative choreography by Rowena Sweeney kept the cast literally on their toes and it was a delight to watch.

This is a real team production and it is perhaps unfair to single out any individual performances but Archie Lovatt interprets the part of Mowgli very sensitively: one minute cheeky, the next wistful and sad.

His panther friend, Bagheera, played by Jenny Coney-Critchley, Baloo the bear (Stephen Wrathall) and King Louie (Isaac Hughes-Dennis) all give polished performances but for me the highlight of the evening was Liam Greenwood’s Shere Khan. Amazing body and face make-up brought the evil tiger to life and his roars had both cast and audience trembling in their shoes.

Musical director Peter Drinkel had trained his young singers well and costumes and set added to the jungle atmosphere.

Director Elizabeth Wrathall brought out the best in her inexperienced actors and used the stage and lighting to good effect.

This new junior society has got off to a good start and I look forward with interest to see what they will do next.

“Jungle Book-Kids” runs on Friday and Saturday this week at St Michael’s Parish Hall, Mytholmroyd, at 7.15pm each day, as well as a Sunday matinee at 2.15pm. Try not to miss it.