At the end of July, our Summer Fun programme kicked off with Musical In a Week! Below, course leader Felicity Courage reflects on a week of musical mayhem.

On Monday 26th July, 44 children arrived at Wiltshire Music Centre, a little nervous but ready to spend a challenging, fun and dynamic week learning the entire musical of The Jungle Book —  the entire script, songs and dance routines — to perform in just 5 days time.

After the secret musical had been revealed, the first few hours were spent reading through lines, doing singing auditions, and familiarizing themselves with the script. They were promptly cast in their roles, put into their groups species by species, and then made a good start on learning the songs and dances.

We had a diverse group with 4-year-old wolf cubs, teenage tigers and everything else in between. Ably assisted by my hugely enthusiastic and sometimes off-the-wall helpers who had a group each, we started to bring together our monkeys, elephants, vultures and wolves into something that resembled a show.

By day two, the cast had pretty much learnt all of their lines by heart! By day three, we had run through all the songs and dance routines. By day four, we were able to do our first full run of the hour long production. Then came the group’s favourite part, the costumes! After emptying my car-load of tusks, ears and tails, and throwing in a basketful of props for good measure, we were able to present a professional looking show to the invited audience on Friday afternoon.

They were treated to an all-singing, all-dancing rendition of Kipling’s The Jungle Book which entertained, amused and tugged on the heart strings of the gathered audience (for how could there be a dry eye in the house when children, who have missed out on over a year of musical theatre, were finally able to come together and perform their socks off!)

The show finished with everyone who wanted to having a little solo line for a finale singalong!

What a memorable week: such talent, such commitment and such a long time coming. Here’s to many more Musical Theatre performing opportunities in the future.

Felicity Courage
Felicity returns to Wiltshire Music Centre on 25th August to run the Wiltshire Youth Choir Summer Course!