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Ida Friscop

The Jungle Book

Our final production “The jungle book” is a theatre including dance composition. From Rudyard Kipling’s novel it has been arranged a theater by Alexander Mork Eidem. It takes place in a future dimension and shows Sergels square in ruins in the big city Stockholm who has turned into a jungle. It does occur a lot of hazards that lurk behind every corner. The biggest social issue that was raised in 2007 when the jungle book was set up for the first time by the culture house it as current today as it was then. In general is the jungle book about fear of what’s dissimilar that leads to xenophobia. Mowgli is the main character and does everything to fit the “animal world”. During the banana republic scene you can clearly see the “apes” bullying Mowgli for not being like themselves. Everyone should have the rights to be whoever they want to be and also respect each other’s differences. The jungle is a democracy and “the evil Shere Kan” goes against all the laws that they have and consider himself that he is the most powerful you can reflect that to the reality as there are people who take over and fight for power and superiority. In the fight and war scene you can clearly see how people fight for the gold and they all get killed. And if you look around it is just like today. People being blind, fighting for power and control thinking they win it all, but what’s winning when you really got nothing and no one left at the end.

 

I have been working in the costume group during the production. I sew things and ordered things that we lacked or needed and also painted and planed the costumes. Most of the time went to discussing and try to see how it would look in the big picture at stage and also the details that makes differences in the clothes like scratches and so on. When I got time over I help others trying find a solution or ideas. Sometimes I went down to the scenography group and helped with the trees that they were building or I helped painting and a couple of times I help in the make-up group with buying make up and so on.

Having an audience gave me such a push it were great to finally get some responses to what we were doing. But at the same time the audience seemed very passive a lot of times but I also knew that the production has a lot to take in. I know for myself. Every time I were back stage I listened and a lot were rushing through my head. It got me and I bet it also got the audience a lot to think of and a lot to piece together to a context. Because even if the production already had an ulterior motive and message. We all see things different and we build our own perception, meaning and how I felt when I saw the jungle book from where I were standing. Is not the same way as anyone else is feeling or how they felt seeing it all from where they sat. They haven’t worked with it and they didn’t see what we saw of course. I don’t blame them! Everything has a different meaning to all of us. But isn’t that what the jungle book is all about? That we all are dissimilar! We could be out of our mind or freaks or really cool in our own way, I mean whatever it is… the point is that us right now being dissimilar and that we always have been and hopefully always will be. Makes the world seem… Just like the jungle book! Scene by scene and piece by piece it can seem uneven and rough. But in the point of view, when you see the whole picture it’s completely unique and got that special light like that kind of one above our heads when we get something right or an idea. Just that kind of light makes you feel glowing because you came up with something and feel amazing. It can feel adversity and like the world is tearing apart but there are moments when that light arrives and that storm passes by and somehow it turns great even if you did not believe it would in the first place. But that’s not just why the world actually is great, that’s not just why the jungle book is great, that’s why we just have to be proud of our whole production and everything we have built and worked for. That’s my summary of our production. That’s what the results of our production is. I have learned and progressed a lot. Both in dance and expression, and the work behind the stage and also as a person to dare more and achieve more and the most important of all. Learning about others and how to be a part of something that’s what the results are.

Louise Gustafsson

My exam essay ’The Jungle Book 2017’

 

My exam essay involves the production of The Jungle Book 2017. The interpretation of The Jungle Book is from Rudyard Kipling’s novel from 1894 and have been dramatized by the Swedish-Norwegian theater director Alexander Mørk Eidem. The act takes place in around year 2117 in a future dystopia society, in a city overgrown with jungle. Everyone is trying to gain power over everybody else. The society is split over several minorities and certain areas belongs to every group. The Banana-Republic, a dance club, belongs to the monkeys, a big cliff is the home of the wolves and the snakes’ home is underground. In this dystopia monkeys are referred as brats, spoiled, superficial young adults who only cares about having fun and partying. Wolves are homeless people surviving on whatever they can find. There is also a tiger, two snakes, a panther, a bear, two vultures and a jackal. Every single one of them representing an ethnic group in the society. The animals are reflected as human beings with a slight of touch of the original animal inside which their role represents.

My participation in this production has been acting, a little bit of dancing and working with the stage design. As an actress I’ve played two roles, one that I was supposed to have and one other that later was assigned to me. As my original role I played a monkey called Joppe and had a co-actress, Filippa who played Noppe. We rehearsed together and tried to make our characters similar to each other but it was difficult because Filippa and I are so different. We had different opinions on several things on how to express and act on stage but with a little help from teachers we could compromise. For instance in scene seven we disagreed on how to walk out from the stage. Filippa wanted to go first but it didn’t work very well, because based on the interpretation of the script I, Joppe, was supposed to walk out first and Noppe right after. In the end we went with the teacher’s and mine idea. There were also moments when we agreed on something and the teacher didn’t, then we stood our ground united. As when the teacher wanted us to sing in a scene where it didn’t fit in at all. It was hard to satisfy the teacher’s request on everything because she changed her mind very often and had a strict idea about the scenes. The teacher wanted me to feel free on stage, but it was hard because then I didn’t do exactly like she wanted, so I changed back to what I did before, but then it was too stiff. When our second teacher stepped in, after being away, both Filippa and I felt freer on stage and we finally found our real characters. I believe our teacher got what you call tunnel vision. I also participated in two dances while playing Joppe. I didn’t work very much with my character and didn’t had so much opportunity to do it either. Many other students worked with our teacher with their characters, trying to find their role by experimenting playing a scene crying, being angry, frustrated, glad etc. But due to Filippa were sick a lot, I couldn’t try it because when she finally were in school either the teacher weren’t there or I was home sick. Instead we tried to experiment more with our roles while rehearsing on stage. My other role, a wolf called Raksha, wasn’t that hard to play so I didn’t have to work very much with that role at all. I only rehearsed on where and how to underline different things in the script. I kind of just threw myself out there on stage.

As a stage designer I have, together with my group, made an incredible scenography. We’ve designed the stage based on Sergel square in Stockholm in a future dystopia overgrown with jungle. Already the first week into the intense period everyone in the group had ideas on how the stage would look like. After some compromises and opinions from teachers we agreed on one idea where we would have a scaffold on half of upper stage, a ramp and a stair would be built to get down from it on either side. On lower stage we decided to have two stairs put together. I made a layout of the stage and after the group had confirmed it, a teacher approved it. Then the building of the stage began. Together we set up the scaffold and the building program approved it before anyone could enter it. We picked up the sections of the catwalk that we used upon the chairs in the audience and also brought Styrofoam back with us, which we used to cut out bricks in and later to put them up on the walls on the sides of the stage. I helped only a little with putting up the catwalk. Instead I designed the stairs and made two layouts so that others in the group could have something to say about it. I also contacted a construction worker to help us build the stairs. But after weeks of work, the layout that we’d decided, was scrapped. Then it was okay to ask the building program at our school to build the stairs for us. So I felt like a fool who had taken up the construction worker’s time with nothing. The stairs was built as two separate on wheels, one of them hollow so that Mowgli could go inside. Isabell and I put up a cloth to cover the side of the hollow stair and made it look like a cavern opening and we also put up some of the metal sheets on the side of the ramp. We used metal sheets to cover up some areas of the scaffold which an artist painted graffiti on, and on the stair up to the scaffold. I painted graffiti on our metal barrel which we used as a fire-bin, kind of fun actually. We painted graffiti to make the illusion of a city. I made the DJ-booth, built a mixer table on it and outlined the word ‘BANAN-REPUBLIKEN’ on the side of it. Together with two others we painted the DJ-booth black and the letters yellow. To get the feeling of being in a jungle, trees were made out of papier maché. I made the sandbox with two parents on the construction-evening. That evening we finished a lot of things. I outlined the word “SAND” on the sandbox and painted the letters black. I painted one of five trees, together with classmates. There were always some small fix to do every now and then that I haven’t mentioned in this exam essay because it’s hard to remember everything to the tiniest detail and there’s not enough room if I’m going to stick to the writing limits. I haven’t learned that much new, though I’ve refreshed my memory on several things, for instance, how a metal shear looks like. The things I’ve learned more about and can come up with right now, is how to do papier maché, set up a scaffold and paint graffiti. 

The meeting with the audience was both a disappointed and an incredible feeling! It was a disappointed feeling because some audiences didn’t came to watch us, but came to escape from classes. But we, in the ensemble, made the best of it and made our way through it. I have experienced meeting with different audiences on different occasions, while singing, dancing and of course while acting. Every time is a new experience because the audience response to what I and an ensemble do on stage in different ways. When I’ve been singing solo or with a group the crowd holds their breath for a long second in the end before you can hear them applaud. While dancing and acting the crowd usually applaud and shout during the show or play and also in the end. Both feelings you get from the different occasions feels wonderful. Though the most wonderful feeling of getting response from the audience while on stage, is when they applaud and shout during the act and when the act reaches the end of the show you can hear everyone in the audience holding their breath to take in what have just happened and then to break out in loud applause and shouts. The results of our hard work with the production with The Jungle Book 2017 is amazing. I believe everyone in the class, and the teachers, are proud of ourselves and of what we had accomplished. We got outstanding response from many in the audiences. Some even said that this was the best final school production that they had ever seen.

Isabell Pettersson Wall

The Jungel book

 

Our final production was our own version of The Jungle book, this version was written by Rudyard Kiplings and is a dystopic of Stockholm in the future. Here, 16-year-old Mowgli hangs out with the homeless who took care of her when Shere Khan murdered her parents. The dangers that threaten the human flesh are many: Hypnotic Kaa, Bratsen Noppe and Joppe and Shere Khan who want to kill her. Fortunately, her emotional foster parents Baloo and Bagheera keep her under surveillance. Mowgli has to find herself in a world that has difficulty accepting those who are different.

 

The play is a lot like the original, you will find you know almost every character and that you can follow the story, but it is also very different from the original, a lot of new things happens and a few new characters appear, new adventures and new challenges. In our version of the jungle book we want to take up and address some problems in the society, like class distinctions and racism.
This we do by showing very clearly that they are in groups, like the homeless are only with the homeless, the bratz are only with the bratz and so on, we have shown with help from costumes and props, how poor or rich they are, where they are in society.

 

In the play I was acting and played Takhar and a journalist,Thakhar was one of the homeless and was Rakhas ( Homless, original stepmother to Mowgli) boyfriend, he was very protective of Raksha and loved her very much so even if he didn’t really like humans or Mowgli, he did everything for both Raksha and Mowgli, even stood up to Shere Khan. After the prologue Thakar dies, and so does Raksha.
The journalist who would be a vulture if she was an animal, was really cheerful and wanted to be in the spot light and always know what was going on. It was a challenge to be two different roles and something incredibly fun to work with, I made them two very different persons and I am proud of myself that I could do that. I really loved seeing myself grow, from that almost same people came out on stage to really be two different persons.

How I worked with the characters was almost the same with both of them, first I read the manuscript a bunch of times, after that I wrote a character analysis for myself so that I could get started with them and have a ground to work with, A characters analysis is a paper you work with, where you build up the person you are about to become, you write about there Background, who they are and if they have special bond with some of the other characters, you can also write about their future and a bunch of stuff, you make up a person really.

When I was done with that, it was time to go on stage, I started to get to know my characters and started do build them up even more, they became real.

I also was in the scenography group, we build the staged and everything around it, my work has been a little bit mixed, one day it has been to googled plants all day, go to Jula and shop for wheels, the other day it has been painting stairs, walls or building a ramp. I've learned a lot of different problem solving, stopping what I was doing and think because sometimes that is all you can do, rebuilding is necessary and it's okay that one's ideas do not always work and listen to each other.
I'm very pleased to have chosen Scenography, I love working hands-on and doing things, having worked in scenography has really made me appreciate my creative side and I've thought it was super fun! I’m a very creative person with a lot of ideas, so I think this group has been perfect, we have all listened to each other and everyone has had the same amount of work.

 

To have reached the result we did, we have punched each other really much, in a positive way, We have supported each other through good and bad times, because this production has really been a journey, for everyone, most of us has hated it at some point and at some point have we all loved it, we have grown with the production and I am very proud to have done this with my class, ES14.


After months of rehearsal and a lot of work, blood, sweat and tears, it was time for the premier, what a feeling. Going out on stage, meeting the audience for the first time, hearing the applause, laughter and everything in between, feeling the adrenalin in the blood, the pulse going up, it was truly the most amazing feeling I have felt in my entire life, that was the feeling I needed to have to live. Showing people what I have worked with, for so long it was so cool, hearing them appreciate it, love it as much as I did, I can’t really explain that feeling, it was just amazing, I never wanted to get of the stage.
All audience wasn’t as good as you could have hoped, but the feeling I had was still the same, I still loved what I did, even if they didn’t like it as much. I still gave them my best, because I loved it and I am glad I did it, I’m glad I gave them all I had, because maybe someone of all the people watching,  loved it as much as I did, and I gave that person all I had.

 

So the result of this production, for being an idea, to reading the script, to all the ideas with the scenography to acutely do this for an audience, I never acutely thought we would make it, it seemed to impossible at the beginning it is amazing.
The results was outstanding and better than I could ever have dreams of, I am very proud of my fellow classmates and all we have done to accomplice this.