Disney classics tackled by Nelson Youth Theatre

Author: Tami Mansfield

Published: April 17th 2019

Nelson Youth Theatre is now performing a double bill of Disney musicals: The Aristocats (35 minutes long) and (very popular with  audience) The Jungle Book.

Both are junior versions of the original musicals and both are directed, choreographed, and musically directed by students.

The shows opened at 2pm on Monday at the Theatre Royal.

First, the Aristocats plays with 26 young actors on stage.

The story revolves around a jealous butler (played with good evil attempt by Tobias Young) who, out of spite, ships some beloved cats away from their wealthy owner.

The Aristocats meet up with some cool street cats and more who make their scary adventure fun.

A magically staged scene of a near kitty drowning takes place but thankfully two joyful and beautifully costumed geese save the day.

Because we want these young performers to be their very best, acting sad when the character is and passionately showing expression (with imagination of where they are and how the character feels) will greatly improve the story telling.

Their singing is good. And I appreciated Aristocat Marie’s (Sophia Evans) focus and Vaughn Birss’s great singing as O’Malley cat.

After a short intermission, an animal duo dance opens the curtain to a cool set change of boulders and mossy forest things for The Jungle Book.

This cast of 35 shows energy, good dance choreography, good singing, and fantastic acting by Mowgli played by talented Joelle Noar (she makes creative character choices) and wonderful Ella Danson who plays Baloo with great authenticity.

Big props to the students: Brooklyn Saunders, Sophie McCarlie, Chelsea Moritt-Neve, Michaela Carruthers and Jasmine Jessen for taking on so much responsibility in direction and music direction.

This Disney double bill runs 16, 17, 18. 19, 20 April at 2pm at the Theatre Royal.