Tarzan at Koorliny Arts Centre, Western Australia

A SWINGING musical is beating the drum of family fun during the upcoming July school holidays.

With music and lyrics by Genesis drummer and singer Phil Collins, Tarzan is based on the 1999 Disney film and staged by Laughing Horse Productions at the Koorliny Arts Centre.

Tarzan is raised by gorillas in West Africa and falls in love with young English naturalist Jane – unaware the people with her are planning to capture the gorillas and exploit them back in the UK.

Both the musical, which opened on Broadway in 2006 and ran for 486 performances, and film use the 1912 story Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs as their source material.

“Tarzan is true Disney,” director Adam Salathiel said. “It’s a romantic love story and a powerful musical about family, compassion, strength and courage.

“Tarzan is an iconic role, as is Jane, and our actors are amazing at bringing them to life.

“I think audiences will be amazed by the connection between these two performers.

“When bringing to life these iconic characters, including the family of gorillas and Tarzan’s ape parents, it’s important they’re portrayed correctly.

“They need to convince the audience they’ve been living in the depths of the jungle where no human has ever been before – and audiences will hopefully see them as the gorillas they are.”

First performing as a 10-year-old, Salathiel has been an actor, director, producer and lighting and sound operator with a diverse range of metropolitan and regional theatre companies.

His current involvement is with Laughing Horse Productions where he has directed The Pirates of Penzance, Kecks, Shirley Valentine, Cut It Out, Backstage, Once Upon A Mattress, Oliver!, Seussical and Steel Magnolias.

Salathiel has also scored several awards and nominations over the years for best supporting actor, director, production, stage manager, costumes and set.

“After directing Oliver! with a mixed cast of youth and adults, I found it exciting to see people of all ages coming together in support of the arts and I wanted to do it again,” he said.

“Tarzan is an opportunity for performers of every age to showcase their amazing talents as singers, actors and dancers.

“It’s a great show for the entire family to watch and enjoy.”

Tarzan plays at 7.30pm July 8, 9, 15 and 16 with 2pm matinees July 9 and 16. Tickets are $25, $23 concession and $18 children – book at www.koorliny.com.au or call 9467 7118.

The Koorliny Arts Centre is at 10 Hutchins Way, Kwinana.