For many of the older members of the disappointingly small first night audience waiting for the curtain to rise for Metta Theatre’s production of Jungle Book, there must have been some uncertainty about what was in store for them in the ensuing couple of hours.  It did not take long before any such fears were dissipated and the whole audience were entering into the spirit of the evening as the story unfolded before them.  Not a tree – or indeed any greenery – in sight but a minimalist, sinisterly lit urban scene with dilapidated lampposts that were certainly to come into their own as props for some of the amazing circus skills that this talented cast were about to display.  If at half-time the audience were a-buzz with enthusiasm, the best was still to come!  It is not often that a Devonshire Park audience is persuaded to get to their feet and wave their arms in the air (well, perhaps sometimes during the panto!) but this was certainly what happened in the finale as Assistant Director, Steve Puxon cajoled the audience to a man to get out of their seats and join in the fun.

Metta Theatre – which has been going now for just over ten years – say in their mission statement that they “tell stories with imagination – for adults, children and everyone in between”.  This production of Jungle Book certainly did that!

Back (l-r): Nathalie Alison, Dean Stewart, Ellen Wolf Middle: Kloe Dean, Natalie Nicole James, Stefan Puxon Front: Matt Knight

Back (l-r): Nathalie Alison, Dean Stewart, Ellen Wolf
Middle: Kloe Dean, Natalie Nicole James, Stefan Puxon
Front: Matt Knight

To say that there was some trepidation among the Friends gathered in the bar to welcome the members of this young cast, would be an understatement.  But their energy and enthusiasm prevailed even after such a gruelling evening and they were an absolute joy to meet. The pictures below bear testament to that!

 

To find out more about this production, please click here to read Kevin Anderson’s excellent review in the Eastbourne Herald.

We certainly wish them every success with the remainder of the tour and perhaps look forward to welcoming Metta back at some time!