Jungle Bungle

Bouncing into Edinburgh from Australia, No Mate Productions have arrived with their enjoyably infectious offering Jungle Bungle.

Rose Shaloo and Richard Lowe do an excellent job guiding the children through the show. Their performance was superb, with singing quality as excellent as their acting.

Oliver meets a new friend on his first day at a new school: Claire. After establishing that she doesn’t mind that he’s ‘unusual’, they explore Oliver’s back-garden, only to find themselves lost in the jungle! When Claire gets fed up with Oliver and they part ways, she discovers a variety of personalities in Oliver’s bag of memories, learning an important lesson along the way.

Rose Shaloo and Richard Lowe do an excellent job guiding the children through the show. Their performance was superb, with singing quality as excellent as their acting. Craig Christies’ songs are both simple and catchy, resulting in everyone’s attention being hooked from the first note. With the audience seated in traverse, the small space that remained seemed to limit the production slightly. It feels like the dancing and energy that went with the songs are used to somewhat larger spaces.

Yet both actors make the most of their space, using the traverse style to invite children up to join in with the dancing. An interactive attempt to lead the children on an ‘adventure’ through the small space is a bit messier however and could be rethought, though the enthusiasm for more audience interaction is admirable. They displayed the right amount of caution, inviting the children rather than pressuring them and thus not upsetting those of a shyer disposition.

Jungle Bungle is a wonderful display of energy and enthusiasm, delivering a simple story with a surprisingly satisfying moral. The songs serve to enhance the story, doing just enough not to overwhelm it. Full marks to the tech for getting the balance right. Barrels of fun, Jungle Bungle is well worth a watch for any family with children aged 4-10.

Reviews by James Beagon

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

It’s a new day and a new school for Oliver, and making a new friend when he meets Claire in the school ground doesn’t help him with the feeling that nothing is as it should be, but things are about to get much worse. Suddenly here they were in a jungle, without supplies, a mobile phone or a map, only Oliver’s crazy compass to guide them. How were they ever going to get out of this place and find their way home? Oh, did we mention that they were being followed?