Jungle Book The Musical at Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Western Australia

THE jungle is jumping with a jazzy beat this July as the collected stories of Rudyard Kipling come together in Laughing Horse Productions’ Jungle Book The Musical.

Written by Marcus Weber and Michael Summ, the rock, pop and funky adaptation has been performed thousands of times across Europe.

Krispin Maesalu has taken on the challenge of both director and musical director for this WA premiere at the Don Russell Performing Arts Centre.

The story follows a small boy who crawls into the jungle and is raised by a mother wolf and her family while being taught the laws of the jungle by the other animals.

“Jungle Book The Musical has many messages for audiences, both young and young at heart,” he said.

“The show teaches us to face our fears and reminds us to try and lead a fun and happy life.”

The main challenge, according to Krispin, is the show’s eclectic music.

“There are some grungy rock numbers, a beautiful lullaby, kooky vaudeville songs and some cheeky salsas,” he said.

“The cast have learnt their harmonies well and our newcomers are excited to sing in their first lead roles.

“This is not the beloved Sherman Brothers Disney soundtrack but it is full of character and fun.”

After studying all facets of the performing arts, Krispin’s versatility as a singer, actor, musician and composer has seen him work extensively across the country.

He has a wealth of experience directing and performing in numerous musical productions and on television over the past 15 years with credits including Be More Chill, Side by Side, Honk!, Gumshoe, Clue the Musical, Seussical and Peter Pan, among many others.

“Laughing Horse Productions always seem to present delightful musicals, from operettas to the golden age and beyond,” he said.

“Working on a new and modern setting of a well-loved story was an exciting opportunity.

“I also play the role of Colonel Hathi, who is a bit past his prime but a well-meaning if not slightly preposterous pachyderm.”

Jungle Book The Musical plays at 7.30pm July 2, 3, 9 and 10 with 2pm matinees July 3 and 10. Tickets are $30, $22 concession and $15 children – book at tinyurl.com/junglebook2021

The Don Russell Performing Arts Centre is at Lot 13, Murdoch Road, Thornlie.