Cranleigh Preparatory School was awash with African tribal costumes and the hum of Swahili rhythms as Form 5 took to the stage for their production of The Lion King. The Disney production was brought into glorious technicolour as Rafiki, played by Isabella P, heralded in the cast of savannah animals, hyenas, lions and lionesses with the now infamous African chant.

Directing proceedings were Head of Drama, Phil Waller alongside Director of Music, Ruth Williams. The play was truly a feast for the senses and the fabulous costumes, designed and created by Liz Turner and Rob Perry and coordinated by Lita Everett, could grace the West End stage.

This performance involved every single member of Form 5 and pupils have spent this term: learning the musical score in their music classes; making masks in Art; designing back drop visuals in IT and being choreographed in lessons with Head of Dance, Kimberley Vowles.

This classic tale follows Simba (Ted S and Casimir K) as he journeys from wide-eyed cub to King of the Pridelands. The cub cannot curb his adventurous side, despite warnings from Sarabi (Amelia C) and Sarafina (Orla R-D) and the ever watchful Zazu (Ella C).

Spurred on by the suitably villainous Scar (Brandon G), he sets in motion a chain of events which lead to the death of his father Mufasa (George B) and his banishment from the Pridelands, with the cackling hyena trio, Madeleine R, Sirus P and Molly S in pursuit.

Simba is rescued from the desert by the comedy duo, Pumbaa (Lucy H-B) and Timon (Alex R) who soon educate him in the way of Hakuna Matata. However, with the arrival of Nala (Maisie B and Alice P) Simba soon realises he cannot escape his worries forever and he returns to the now desolate grasslands to claim back his kingdom from Scar.

The production would not have been possible without the support of the whole Common Room, but particular thanks need to go to: Nick Young and Hamish Ellis from Cranleigh School and Ben Dixon who provided valuable technical and design support; the team of make-up artists, headed up by our Art department and supported by Verity Sandford, Victoria McCambridge, Pippa Charlesworth,  Tamsin Groocock and a team of Form 6 girls, who worked so hard to create such marvellous characters; the behind the scenes staff for shepherding the cast and the Cranleigh School dancers who were such a professional addition to the cast.

Watch the highlights below: