St John’s on-the-Hill School staged a production of the musical The Lion King Jr to packed out audiences at the school on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March.

Based on the 1994 Disney film, The Lion King musical tells the story of the young lion Simba, heir to the King of the Pride Lands Mufasa, who gets exiled after being blamed for his father’s death, but eventually reclaims his rightful title. Audiences during the three performances of the musical were captivated by the familiar tale and songs including the Circle of Life, I just can’t Wait to be King and Can you Feel the Love Tonight.

260 primary school pupils from Dewstow Primary School, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary, Offa’s Mead Academy, Lydney Church of England Community School, Aylburton Church of England Primary School, The Dell Primary School and even St Clare’s School, in Porthcawl, attended the matinée performance on Thursday.

Dave Mitchell, Music Director at St John’s on-the-Hill, said: “We were thrilled to have so many people watch our production. Our children have been practising since last summer to learn the music, songs, dances and lines – their effort levels, talent and professionalism impressed everyone.

“This is our biggest ever production and required amazing teamwork from both staff and pupils. We invested in resources including new stage flooring and animated scenery, to create the stunning sets of the African landscape. The colourful costumes, some loaned from St Clare’s School and some created by our fantastic staff, brought the stage to life with lions, zebras, hyenas, tropical birds and even an elephant. Our children also learnt many production skills including makeup, costumes, sound and lights.”

Ruth Frett, Head at St John’s-on-the-Hill, added: “The 43 strong cast included all Year 7 and 8 pupils aged from 11 through to 13. I am so proud of all of the children for how they have thrown themselves, heart and voice, into this wonderful production.”