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Melton Theatre and SMB College Group Presents Plastic Jungle!

Melton Theatre and SMB College Group Presents Plastic Jungle!

Last week, SMB College Group’s Performing Arts Undergraduates put on an original performance entitled ‘Plastic Jungle’ at the college’s own Melton Theatre.


Plastic Jungle is a Performing Dance project created by SMB College Group students and inspired by Jungle Book: Reimagined – a piece by Akram Khan which launched in April 2022.

Inspired by Khan’s version of this much-loved Rudyard Kipling story, in which he re-imagines the tale through the eyes of a refugee caught in a world devastated by climate change, the College’s Performing Arts Undergraduates took this further to tell their own story about climate change.

The students have been working on this project throughout Semester 1 of their BA Performing Arts course. They began by looking at Jungle Book: Reimagined, analysing the aspects of Khan’s new version against the classic story. They developed ideas and began to look further into climate change and, more specifically, Greta Thunberg and her fight to get people to listen. The piece combined all of these aspects to create a highly original but poignant piece of dance theatre.

Through their performance the students are sending a powerful message about the dangers of climate change and the struggle for young people to be heard. The performance aimed to raise awareness and money for Cool Earth, a UK-based international non-profit, working to protect endangered rainforests in order to combat global warming and protect ecosystems.

The students are incredibly proud of their performance and the powerful story it tells, BA Performing Arts Student, Alice Benstead, wrote about her experience

“Being a part of the dance piece Plastic Jungle was an absolutely amazing experience, and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it. From my amazing lecturer Cat Webb bringing the wonderful initial idea to life, and of course my classmates that have become like a second family to me due to us working so closely together and bonding over this fantastic performance. Being able to perform our own piece in a theatre that is practically on our own doorstep gave us such a great sense of achievement – especially after not being able to perform to an audience for so long during the covid-19 pandemic. Also, the journey that we went on to get the piece onto the stage has been one I’ll never forget, the professional practice and lessons I have gained from this unit of work have massively benefited my self-progression and will stay with me forever.”

Catherine Webb, Performing Arts Lecturer at SMB College Group, said

“I’m very proud of how the students handled their project, and I was specifically impressed that alongside the creation and performance they were also promoting and raising money for Cool Earth, a climate change charity.”

The Plastic Jungle performance was held at Melton Theatre, situated inside SMB College Group’s Melton Campus. Situated at the College’s Melton Campus in the heart of Melton Mowbray, Melton Theatre has been a prominent feature in the community for over 45 years, hosting a wide range of acts from Lee Evans and Alan Carr, to college theatre productions, pantos, and dance shows. This week, the Theatre is hosting a double bill of acting pieces performed by SMB College Students: All the little Lights by third-year Performing Arts students and Antigone by second-year students.

Register now for the Melton Campus Taster and Open Evening to find out more about studying Performing Arts at SMB College Group  

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