The Jungle Book
My ending work to summarize my three years in the esthetic program with the co-orientation theater and dance.
A new interpretation of the old Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, but with a newer touch brought by Alexander Mørk Eidem. The Jungle has taken over Stockholm and it’s 100 years into the future. The wolves are replaced by homeless, the monkeys are replaced by the upper-class, especially egocentric teenagers.
At first when we got the news the class was really excited and we immediately started to plan the play. We were sorted into working groups in order to get the play ready. Five groups, scenography, to prepare the stage for example making trees of papier-Mache, putting up a ramp for the dancers and actresses between the seats because we wanted to work with the audience more. Then we got marketing, the group I was a part of, where we contacted possible sponsors, we made the poster and pamphlets in which the audience could read about our work. We also had two groups of makeup and costumes, where they worked with reinforcing the characters’ personas. Last but not least we had the multimedia group, they worked with the music for the play and all the sound effects.
In my group, marketing, we had to start right away to know which of the sponsors was going to get a place on the poster. The poster needed to be done quite quickly so we could market the play. I was very excited in the beginning but soon realized that it was too much work for me. I got stressed but my group was very supportive and we decided that I was going to take care of the pamphlet and have that as my priority.
I got the role as Noppe, one of the upper-class “monkeys”. Noppe is best friends with Joppe another of the upper-class “monkeys”. Together they get to know Mowgli, and find out that she is a human. Humans are in this play the “bad guys”. Noppe and Joppe, as stupid as they are don’t get that and only cares that humans are below their class. They try to use Mowgli in order to get their hands on weapons to rule the jungle.
At first when I got my role I was a bit disappointed because I wanted a character that was independent and not a role which depended on another, in this case, Joppe.
But I quickly got over that and when we started to analyze the characters I got excited to work on it. In the beginning it felt easy to practice, but then the character felt one dimensional and I didn’t get anywhere. Sometimes it felt hard to make the director happy as it was difficult to understand each other, I had one view of the character and she had another. But the same week as the premiere we worked with our other theatre teacher and we made a compromise that made both me and the director satisfied.
It was all very exciting to show of our work on the premiere. Our class have been working really hard, together to reach the results. We have had “building evenings” to get the stage done, and to help the other groups. As all classes we have had rough times when we didn’t agree on things, but it all got solved with a great result. The whole class have had personal responsibility to practice dances and lines, but we have been working really hard in school too, late nights and weekends have gone to make this work.
To play in front of our teachers and the other esthetic classes below us was nothing compared to play in front of audience we didn’t know. Everyone was nervous in the beginning, these people didn’t know our hard work, we didn’t know it they would appreciate it, would they clap and enjoy the show? Nobody knew, but we went out there anyway and we got an amazing start, they were laughing when they were supposed to laugh and clapping were they were supposed to clap. The energy was flowing from the stage to the audience and from the audience to the stage. But then, Tuesday morning, our third show after 3 days off. We were nervous again, the audience barely laughed and they hardly clapped. It brought down the whole class and we didn’t do it because it was fun, we did it because we had to. Sadly.
So Wednesday morning none of us were excited. This time it was another school that were going to watch, high school students that were known for being lazy and annoying. They surprised us and went to be the best audience of all. I think that show really made us complete the week and end on a high note.
Now it has been a week since our last show and in a whole, I am very satisfied with the results. It has been more fun than I thought, a better result than I thought. In the beginning you’re all so excited and then you reach rough patches and you think that it’s going to suck, no one is going to come and no one is going to like it. But it was the opposite, I have heard so much great things about the show, how much people enjoyed it and enjoyed me.
I am more than glad that we made this work.