The Singing Kettle: Rumble in the Jungle

A new line up for the Singing Kettle, and a new show, where Gary, Kevin and Anya are joined by a host of animal friends – Bonzo the dog, Hector the crocodile, Beryl the bird and Frida the frog – in a search for the Magical Coloured Kettles that contain clues to the sing-along songs. Artie and Cilla having retired and handed over the Kettle to the “next generation” it will come as a relief to parents everywhere that the show is in safe hands. Gary the musician (dressed as a zebra) is the lynchpin for the activities of Kevin the explorer and Anya the tiger.

While there’s no real ongoing storyline, each individual scene is the lead up to a singalong – after all, this show is all about engaging with the kids and keeping them involved and interested. Perhaps a little overlong (2 parts of 50 minutes with an interval) for some of the younger ones, as Nathaniel found his attention wandering as times in the second half.

Nonetheless, the energy levels, audience participation (spot Tommy the Toucan) and the favourite songs (Leap Frog, Do Your Ears Hang Low, Friends Like You and Bear Hunt are good examples) along with the opportunity to make animal noises, keep most of the audience enthralled throughout. At one point in each half, 7 children are invited on stage, where they get to dress up and take part in a number. And I suspect that for those lucky ones in particular, it’s the best possible start to their summer holidays.

Paul and Nathanial Byrne