25th June 2019 — Year 7 (Prep 2) leavers at Bancroft’s Prep School entertained packed houses with a fantastic and powerful version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book adapted by Tracey Power. The story is familiar: Mowgli, abandoned in the jungle, must learn to find his place in the community of animals. He is taught the ways of the jungle by Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Akekla the old wolf. His idyllic existence is threatened by the return of man-eating tiger, Sheere Khan. The tiger cannot accept that Mowgli can be part of the jungle. Mowgli must learn to abide by the jungle law and stand up to Sheere Khan. This adaptation added contemporary resonances to the story: ecological themes; the notion of belonging and the folly of of judging by appearances.
As usual, the leavers’ production had two casts, which performed on alternating shows, so allowing all members of the year group to be involved. In particular the cast members should all be congratulated on their physicality. It was clear that they had all spent time thinking about and working on how the different animals move: snakes slithered, birds fluttered, panthers were elegant and sinuous, tigers stealthy and monkeys full of the necessary bounce and energy. Miss Adams and Ms Moor did a great job directing this tight production while the music was in the capable hands of Mr Baum. Characterisation was further helped with some imaginative make-up created by Mrs Vetta and her team of pupils from the Senior School Members of the Junior Choir were in fine voice to add their support.
Watching The Jungle Book it was clear that all member of the year group had thrown themselves into the production and had a great time performing: the audiences certainly had a great time watching. No doubt the young cast members will take the memory of their involvement in The Jungle Book with them as they move onto their senior schools next term.
Directors Alex Adams and Allison Moor said, “The children have worked tirelessly over the past few months, showing so much enthusiasm and dedication to the production and all the while maintaining their work ethic in the classroom too. We are very proud of them.”