DISNEY’S The Lion King Kids burst on to the stage of St Ronan’s School in Innerleithen this week.

And each of the 150 Primary 4 to 7 pupils had their part to play in this ambitious show.

The capacity audiences at all three shows were transported to the African savannah, as the young stars of the stage brought to life the unforgettable cast of characters and their journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again in this inspiring coming-of-age tale.

Opening the show was Anna Tweedy in the part of Rafiki, the wise old mandrill who was a very confident narrator throughout the show. The roles of the young lion cubs, Simba and Nala, who grow up quickly as the story unfolds, were taken by Rory MacDonald and Lauren Nightingale.

Both P7 pupils sang and acted brilliantly.

In the part of Scar, Ethan McMurdo relished his role of the wicked uncle and his laid-back, menacing manner brought real contrast to the other characters.

The comedy of Disney’s original was clearly evident throughout the show, with the addition of many personal touches.

The three hapless hyenas were portrayed superbly by Miles McLaughlin, Alistair Marshall and Drew Lobb - each one developing their own character traits perfectly.

The double act of Timon (Anna Leckie) and Pumbaa (Robbie Conkie) worked well and Anna’s super voice and Robbie’s comic timing served to complemented each other perfectly.

Simba’s parents were played by Campbell McEwan (Musfasa), who was an imposing characte,r and Ellie Gordon (Sarabi), who was dignified throughout.

Meanwhile, Mufasa’s major-domo, Zazu, was a role taken by Amy Fairbairn who strutted confidently and showed off her fine voice.

The show was full of great design and artwork, which included masks, headgear, puppets and wall art.

Everything was produced by the the children themelves and the use of animation to portray the stampede scene was an innovative touch which involved the children in new skills.

The Primary 4 pupils formed the Pride Rock Choir and were the powerhouse of the chorus, belting out the many hits from Elton Jonh’s classic score. The pupils in P5, 6 and 7 played the parts of the animals of the savannah: buffalo, cheetahs, elephants, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas, lionesses, monkey tricksters, ostrichs, vultures and zebras.

The sun was represented by Lexi Dickson and Georgia MacDonakd.

Each child sang and moved like a star and were all resplendent in their Lion King Kids t-shirts and the headgear they had made. As a prologue to the show, a group of P5 and 6 pupils played djembe drums which set the scene perfectly.

Headmaster Keith Belleville said: “We secured the rights for the Borders premiere of The Lion King Kids earlier in the year as part of our plans for a whole school African study.

“The show was the culmination of a term of work which brought alive geography, science, literacy, music, drama and art for the children.

"This rich learning experience has immersed the children in the topic.

“The performance was very important of this and we tried to ensure quality experiences for the children, which involved them in all aspects of the production and gave them the opportunity to develop and apply many different skills.

If this week’s performances are anything to go by, the hard work and commitment of pupils, staff, parents and many others was well worth the effort and St Ronan’s has produced another show to be proud of.


Musical Director, J. Leavett; Choreographer O. Roper; Design, I. Finnie and S. Best; Animation, S. Russell; Drums, J. Jacobs; Technical, W. Irvine, C. Wilson, J. Small, D. Belleville, C. Turnbull; Make-up, A. Borthwick, C. Bell, A. Robb; Staff, K. Aitchison, A. Borthwick, D. Crabbe, J. Hobbs, E. McKinnon, H. Morris and I. Wardhaugh; Production directed by K.J. Belleville & J. Lister.